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 www.catiim.in 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 !!!



8 comments:

Sai said...

There's a NIIT angle to it ....

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4980459.cms

Ashwin said...

Well it depends on where you live or stay?, For a person living near DSNR, JNTU-H is very far as compared to MVSR, similarly for other colleges. Also most of them have good transportation or hostel facility near them (ex: CBIT).

Rakesh said...

@ Ashwin,

Yes. It does depend on where you live or stay. But unfortunately the centers are not just for people in hyderabad, but for whole of AP. And even then, a college like Vidya Vikas is about 30kms from the closest point of Mehdipatnam. How many of the 8 colleges have good transport facility?( we are not talking about college buses, but public transport). Why do we need hostels for a one day exam? Most students do not have 4 wheelers or their own transport. They are left to depending on RTC. Tell me how many of these colleges have frequent buses run by RTC? How many outside Hyd know the locations? And JNTUH has very good public transport accessibility even for people from DSNR.

And, why did the IIMs give 200 crores? Can a prometric not setup centers in the center of the city like punjagutta and nearby areas which are very accessible by public transport are at the same distance to any end of the city. What are they doing with the money?
Then the IIMs should provide transport as well.

Unfortunately in our country we tend to approve of whatever the IITs or the IIMs do because of their stature. Its time we question things. After all, its the tax payer's money and not a private property of 200 crores.

Divyamaan said...

Can RTI be filed for the questions we attempt and their solution, like are they correct, do the questions have a valid options.

and yes even in delhi there were only 6-7 centres in the city whereas all of them were like 20 to 25 kilometers away.. so that again is a loophole.

Divyamaan said...

Hi,

Also can an RTI be filed for the authenticity of the question. Like the right options and the complete solution. One never knows if a question was right or wrong.

Also even in delhi there were just 6-7 centers within city and rest all were around 25-30 km from the city. I dont think there is a dearth of colleges in a city like delhi.

Rakesh said...

@Divyamaan: You can definitely ask how many invalid questions were found and what corrective action was taken. I am not sure if they will give out the questions considering the fact that they are not even ready to give the contract document.

You can also ask as the logic in selecting such centers.

Please spread the message. The culprit (whoever it is) must to brought to book.

krishna@revolt said...

Yes u are absolutely correct rakesh...even i took my exam at sri devi..nd one of my cousin has her center at LORD'S.....dropping her at LORD'S seemed to be MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 1....and lo after droppin her der...it took nearly 1 hr for me to find da surprise for my life tym...SRI DEVI COLLEGE....i almost encountered two dead end's on dat MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2....got frustrated....nd reached my center at da knick of da moment...

Ankit said...

Hi Rakesh,
I had also filed an RTI application with IIM B and IIM L. It may help a few people.

u may check it on this.

http://www.ankit9doshi.com/dope-on-b-schools-in-india-mba-1/rti-reply-by-iim-bangalore