Friday, Nov 28, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
THE COUNTRY'S TOP management education institutes are shaken by the discovery that the question paper for their prestigious Common Admission Test was put on the street by touts for a price, near the national capital. A question paper leak is the worst nightmare for administrators of examinations and more so when the institutions involved are of the stature of the Indian Institutes of Management. The IIM system is justifiably praised for management education that is truly global in its vision and quality. That excellence begins from the time the brightest minds are chosen, as is the case with the Indian Institutes of Technology system, through a rigorous admission process. The intensity of the competition to enter the ivy league of management institutes is evident from the number of candidates who compete for a place. At the IIM Ahmedabad, it is 250 to 1. The "Which MBA 2001" survey of 4,500 MBA students and graduates of IIM-A, some of whom hold the best jobs in industry and elsewhere, rates it as the most difficult programme to enter, giving it a score of 4.9, higher than even Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge.
The Central Bureau of Investigation's operation has uncovered what could clearly be the weakest link in an otherwise strong system. There is suspicion that the questions were pilfered from the printing press, and if proved, this should lead to a review of how question papers for such tests are produced and distributed. The CBI probe into the leak of the question paper by touts, stated to be medical professionals from Bihar, could expose more chinks that will need remedial action. The touts operated from a hotel on the Delhi-Gurgaon road, charging each candidate Rs.2.4 lakhs to see the questions. The candidates were released from the hotel with just enough time to reach the examination venue. Finding such candidates who are willing to pay a small fortune to get an unfair advantage over others is not difficult, considering that coaching centres of various hues operate all over. The cheating by a few has cast a burden on genuine candidates who must now take a fresh test on February 15.
The leak is a timely reminder to those in charge of the testing process that there can be no complacency in administering an operation of this scale, involving no less than one lakh candidates in various towns and cities. They could learn from the IIT experience. The IIT Joint Entrance Examination administrators found themselves in a similar predicament a few years ago but responded with alacrity and ensured the sanctity of the entrance procedure. Now, there is a two-stage process in the IIT entrance examination with the bulk of the candidates getting eliminated through an objective-type test. Only one in nine candidates who apply makes it to the final examination, which is restricted to the metro cities where more effective safeguards against leaks can be created. The possibility of administering objective-type tests online in designated centres must also appear attractive, given the experience of international agencies whose scores are accepted by universities worldwide. Such tests lend themselves to electronic encryption and would therefore appear to be less vulnerable to tampering. The question of non-standardised admission procedures being pursued by the large number of privately run management institutes is itself on the threshold of reform, with the University Grants Commission prescribing that all institutions offering management education should adopt one of five leading entrance examinations from the academic year 2004-05. This will also be easy on the purse of candidates as they can avoid multiple applications for suspect tests, all of which involve high fees.
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of