IIM-Calcutta is to modify the admission system to provide all the eligible, interested and competitive graduates from all the fields to provide level playing field to shed its ‘Engineer Only’ B-school image.
It’s a fact that engineers dominate some of the most prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in the country, even when the country’s B-schools are making efforts to break the homogeneity. The massive numbers of engineers making it to the IIMs every year is the proof of it. We just take into consideration two of the top IIMs of India – IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta. The former has 87 percent engineers in 2015-17 batch, which is quite a jump from the 80 percent in 2014-16 batch, and latter 90 percent, which is quite big a number.
Not only IIM Calcutta and IIM Ahmedabad but IIM-Indore had 376 candidates, out of a total batch size of 453, from an engineering background, which is nine more than the 2014-16 batch. Similarly, IIM-Kozhikode had 93 students out of a total batch of 122 from an engineering background, and the number was 90 in the 2014-16 batch.
Now leading the bandwagon to change the homogeneity is the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. To do this effectively, IIM Calcutta is to change its admission process after being stimulated by recruiters and continuous efforts from the management experts. The aim of IIM Calcutta is to break the shibboleth of being an ‘Engineer Only’ B-school of India.
The prominent and perhaps the only reason for more engineers finding places in the IIMs of India is the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam pattern which gives engineers an edge over others for their sheer excellence with numbers. However, CAT exam will not be the only decisive criterion and determining factor this year to get an entry into the premier IIM, Calcutta. With this, the possibility of students from other streams finding themselves in IIM Calcutta is expected to increase considerably. Now you might be thinking how it is going to happen. Well, let me explain.
For the academic session of 2017-2019, the admission committee of IIM Calcutta will give less weightage to the CAT 2016 score. Instead, more weightage will be given to class 10th and 12th scores. This will provide all the eligible and competent graduates with a level playing field. As a result, the total score for shortlisting candidates to make the final merit list is to be divided to half from 100 marks. Therefore, the final list will be on 50 points.
Candidates who crack CAT are shortlisted for written ability test and interview session. Until 2016, IIM Calcutta – one of the most renowned and sought after B-schools for MBA in finance and consulting courses – used to shortlist candidates for the final phase based on CAT score and class 10th and 12th results, whereas women were awarded additional marks. The weightage for shortlisting the candidates was 67 percent to the CAT score, 15 percent each for class 10th and 12th scores besides 3 percent for women to boost the gender diversity.
For the academic session of 2017-2019, IIM Calcutta is to follow a different process altogether which is to provide the level playing field to the eligible and competitive bachelors from all the streams. Under the new system that IIM-C is to follow, CAT score will be given 56 percent weightage (28 marks), class 10th and 12th scores will get 20 percent weightage each (10 marks each) and 4 percent (2 points) for the gender diversity.
Earlier, when the CAT score was given more weightage, top institutes like IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta were ending up with more students from an engineering background in the interview and were finally getting a lion’s share in seat distribution. Giving weightage to the class 10th and 12th score is intended to give graduates from other streams a chance to be the part of as prestigious IIM as IIM Calcutta is which were marginalised earlier.
This is a welcome step from the IIM Calcutta to increase the number of students from all the streams. However, if IIMs are more interested in proving the level playing field to all the eligible, interested and competitive graduates from all the fields, CAT exam needs an overhaul. CAT should be set with sections from all the fields that give candidates a chance to fight for seats in IIMs on even grounds. Hope to see this thing happening for better anytime soon.