Monday, September 28, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

IIMs - Online CAT - RTI

Update 2: After a lot of complaints and criticism from students, IIMs have decided to allow editing of personal profile and application data. This common sense should have prevailed in the first place. Lot of students have bought more then one voucher just because there was no scope for editing.

Correcting your Application Data

Candidates will be allowed to edit their Personal Profile and their Application Data in about a week's time leading upto the end of the registration window. The exact date and instructions shall be announced in a few days from now.

Please logon to for updates.

Update 1: A friend has just sent this article about Prometric outsourcing the job of providing test centers to NIIT at an estimated cost of 50-55 crores. ( Thanks Sai Chand for pointing to this article)

This looks intersting. Then all the more important to know how these 200 crores was arrived at. Is prometric just developing content and software and getting 150 crores?? Think of it.

CAT is going online from this year. Prometric has bagged the contract of conducting this test at an unprecedented scale. The contract is worth $40 million dollar ( nearly 200 crore rupees). The contract details were never made public and it was never clear what would prometric use the money for. The press statement from Prometric says the following,

"In assuming responsibility for all aspects of the CAT program, including item authoring, test development, test administration and scoring and reporting services, Prometric will add resources, including dedicated test development and support staff, in India."

So i thought that they would add new test centers with brand new infrastructure. 200 crores is huge and it is only natural that a major chunk would be spent on infrastructure. I filed an RTI with IIMA to know what all the contract entails and a lot of other details regarding the tendering process. I am waiting for the reply.

In the meantime, the test sites were declared. To the shock of all students, out of 8 centers in Hyderabad, 7 of them are away from the city at an average distance of 25kms from the city. One center is almost 40kms away from the city. The students are asked to report to the center 2 hours prior to the test time which means students have to be at the centers by 8am. Hyderabad is the only center for Andhra Pradesh and how will students from other parts of the state come to hyderabad and reach the test centers which are not very accessible and there are no proper public transport facilities. It beats my mind as to how did they decide on these centers and did they even consider student convenience as a parameter. Indian Express carried an article on this today.

The registration website of CAT 2009 has also come under severe criticism from students. Lot of students have bought the vouchers twice spending double the amount only because the student profile is uneditable. It just looks like a money making exercise. How can a 200 crore contract be like this? and whose money is it? Some of the questions that come to my mind are...

1. What is prometric using this money for?
2. Why did they select test centers that are so far away?
3. Did they take into consideration the student convenience?
3. Since they are creating any new infrastructure, where is all this money going?
4. How transparent is this deal?
5. How can a student profile be non editable?

All these questions need answers. Hopefully the RTI reply would provide some answers.

IIMs may be among the best institutes in the country, but its high time they come clear on this deal and make everything public. After all, its the taxpayer's money...

Use RTI !!!