Indian Institute of Management is the premier institute for pursuing a management degree in India and the selection process for the course is rigorous. The candidates have to, first, be eligible for writing the CAT (Common Aptitude Test). Once they clear the exam, they will be called for an interview process. Only a few candidates are shortlisted and subsequently enrolled for the course. In the year 2015, over 2,18,000 students appeared for the CAT exam for a total of 3,700 seats at all IIMs in the country. This gives each student a probability of 2.2% of landing a seat at one of the IIMs. Needless to say, this is a highly competitive examination and many students are disappointed on a yearly basis when they are not able to ‘bell the CAT’.
Union minister of the HRD Ministry, Mr Prakash Javadekar held a meeting with all the IIM directors at Shillong on 20th September 2016. The meeting was held to discuss a few issues and bring about a few changes in the selection process.
Mr Javadekar said that he had instructed all the IIMs to submit plans of expanding the number of student intake for the post-graduate diploma courses. The plan was to increase the intake to 9,000 students. Though the IIMs were not given a deadline to achieve this target, the directors assured the minister that they would submit the proposal at the earliest. The proposal to increase the number of doctoral candidates was also discussed. Mr Javadekar assured the directors that he would solve the problem regarding the shortage in teaching staff. They also plan to offer better fellowship programs to attract students for this program.
The IIT council had decided to award the PM’s scholarship to PhD scholars from IITs. This decision might be extended to the IIMs also if the cabinet approves this proposal.
The minister stressed on the point that reservations are provided by the constitution and the government had no plans of modifying the guidelines.
Towards the end of the meeting, it was decided that IIMs will be a part of the government initiative to build 20 world-class institutes in India. In the proposed 20 institutes, ten would be run by the government and ten would be controlled by the private sector. The IIMs have also been asked to be part of ‘Swayam’, which is an online education technology website that will provide quality content to students from class 9 upwards. It will cover all topics necessary and is a free course.