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  • Common GD-PI on the cards for all 13 IIMs this year?

    KEEN on simplifying the admission process for the IIMs, the HRD ministry is set to explore the possibility of introducing a common interview and group discussion for all the 13 premier institutes.

    HRD minister Kapil Sibal will meet the IIM directors today to discuss the proposal which aims to reduce the applicants’ inconvenience.

    Though the six new IIMs in Raipur, Rohtak, Ranchi, Udaipur, Tiruchirappalli and Kashipur have already taken a step in this direction by agreeing to replace their individual group discussion or GD with a common written test, their older counterparts are following the established pattern.

    Nowadays, after clearing the Common Admission Test (CAT), students apply for the GDPI separately to each IIM of their choice, and travel from city to city to appear in them. Each institute follows a different set of criteria to select students. “With a common GDPI, the applicants won’t have to travel so much,” an HRD official said.
    IIM faculty have a different perspective..

    The proposal is likely to receive a mixed response as the new IIMs are in favour of the change while the older ones want to stick to the old pattern.

    IIM Ahmedabad director S. K. Barua said the older institutes had also taken steps to reduce the problems faced by candidates by coordinating among themselves and holding interviews in the same city. “Last year, a candidate could appear for interview for IIM Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bangalore in Delhi itself,” Barua said. “But I am not sure if all the IIMs will agree to a single interview and GD as the idea was shot down earlier.”

    Himanshu Rai, the 2010 CAT convener and IIM Lucknow teacher, said the idea was “theoretically possible” but doubted that it would be accepted. “Assuming that the IIMs will agree to something that is universal is unlikely. This is because the institutes’ preferences vary from one another,” he said.

    Some of the B-schools give preference to a candidate’s work experience, he said, while some others attach more weight to a student’s performance in the school board or graduation exams. Some, again, look mostly at a student’s GD-PI performance.

    Students prefer multiple interviews to maximise chances!

    Rai claimed the students themselves prefer multiple interviews because that increases their chances of admission. If they do badly in one interview, they still have a chance in the next. “I have spoken to at least 500 students. All of them have supported multiple interviews. It will be unfair to deny admission to a student in any of the IIMs on the basis of just one interview,” Rai said.

    Some students who failed to secure IIM admission despite doing well in last year’s CAT saidthe government should ask the institutes to revamp their selection methods.

    Vipul Chawla, now an MBA student with XLRI in Jamshedpur, had secured 99.47 percentile in CAT last year. He did not receive an interview call from any of the IIMs of his choice because most of the institutes gave more weight to candidates’ performances in their Class X, XII and graduation exams. Some preferred non-engineers.

    “The IIMs give high weight-age to students’ performances in their previous exams, but the assessment systems vary between school boards and universities,” Chawla said.
    “There is no way to normalize the marks awarded by the different boards and universities. Giving more weight-age to students from non-engineering backgrounds too is unfair.”

    Chawla felt that a candidate’s performance in CAT and GDPI should hold the key to admission. Dipesh Kaien, a student with MDI Gurgaon, agreed. Kaien had secured 99.27 percentile but he too never received an interview call from any IIM. “If the IIMs give high weight-age to board exam marks, where is the necessity to hold CAT and GD-PI? I have challenged the IIMs admission procedure in Delhi High Court,” he said.

    The 13 IIMs together offer about 5,000 seats in their postgraduate programme.
    A ministry officer said: “If not a common GD-PI, then we’ll try to convince the older IIMs to share GD-PI scores with the new ones so they don’t have separate interviews.”

    Article sources: Mail Today & The Telegraph