Centralised interview for all IIMs soon?

From the next academic session, Indian Institutes of Management aspirants may no longer have to appear for separate interviews for admission to different IIMs. Instead, right after clearing the written Common Admission Test (CAT), they may be asked to appear for a single centralised interview and secure admission based on the final score. This and other suggestions will come up for consideration as the coordination forum of the IIMs holds its first-ever meeting in the Capital on Wednesday.

At present, each IIM has its own interview process on its separate campus on the basis of which it selects the candidates. The selection criteria also differs from one institute to other. “For example, some institutes lay emphasis on diversity, others do not,” said a senior Central government official.

“It is likely that the issue related to a common admission process may come up (in the meeting). Apart from this greater cooperation among these institutes is another area which will be discussed,” the official added.

The idea is to lesson the burden on students who have to travel to different places and appear before separate panels, said another official.

“There is a view that institutes conduct separate interview processes to ensure that they get the candidates best suited to them. However, this often leads to long waiting lists and arduous admission procedure. The aim is to explore if there is a way to make the process simpler and more student-friendly,” the second official explained.

Another item on the agenda is to consider common subscription of journals, both local and international, by these institutes, which could lead to substantial saving of costs as publishers tend to give discounts on bulk subscriptions.

The coordination forum was set up by the Indian Institute of Management Act of 2017 and comprises directors of different IIMs, four chairpersonsfrom the institutes, the Union HRD secretary incharge of higher education and five eminent persons as its members.

During the meeting, the members of the coordination forum may also select one of its members to act as the chairperson till a regular chairperson is appointed.

The forum was set up to facilitate the sharing of experiences, ideas and concerns with the objective to enhance the performance of all institutes. The coordination forum is also expected to recommend to the Centre the institution of scholarships for research, and for the benefit of students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other socially and educationally backward classes. The forum will also review the achievement of policy objectives, according to the act.

Prof Inder Mohan Kapahy, former UGC member, called it is a welcome move. “This is a candidate-friendly move that shall result in huge reduction in expenses, waste of time, difficulties in unnecessary travels etc. Since all IIMs are now governed by a common Act, commonality in admission procedures is a natural requirement,” he said.

“Also, sharing of common digital and other academic resources shall cut costs without compromising quality. In engineering and law, the unified admission policy has already been implemented and is very successful,” he added.

There are 20 IIMs in the country that offer management education at the postgraduate, doctoral and executive levels.

First Published:
May 22, 2019 07:14 IST

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