The admissions process for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) usually begins in January. However, post the computer-based CAT fiasco, IIMs are worried that it could get delayed. In an interview with IIM-K director Pradipta Mukherjee, Debashis Chatterjee clears the air on fears of the CAT fiasco impacting the admissions criteria. Edited excerpts:
Will admissions for the 2010 academic year be delayed due to the CAT fiasco?
It's too premature to say that the admissions will be delayed. We made CAT computer-based for the first time this year and any transition from one format to the other for the first time always has a few glitches -- although I feel the test could have been handled more professionally and perhaps, sanitisation of the system could have been ensured to avoid the mishap. However, what matters now is whether the test was fair, without diluting the standards.
Could this impact the admissions criteria?
The CAT fiasco will not affect the admissions as we depend on fair scores. Also, our group discussions and personal interview processes are rigorous enough to ensure deserving candidates do not suffer. Our admissions, as always, will be merit-based. If some candidate says that is unfair and moves the court, we will have to wait for the court's verdict. We increased the intake in our flagship PGP programme to 300 students from the academic session 2009.
You are in expansion mode. Are you looking at establishing a campus abroad?
We are acquiring more land to expand our existing campus. There is a water shortage here and therefore we are looking at cultivating water on the new grounds to pare the shortage. We are building a 200-room facility for executives so that they can avail of residential programmes on our campus. This will also help us run two to three executive programmes simultaneously. We are not looking at an international campus immediately, but to have overseas collaborations for knowledge-sharing in executive education.
Which destinations are you targeting?
We are looking at Singapore, Dubai, North America and Europe for collaborations in the executive education space. We are also looking at international accreditations and the first one should happen within the next one year. Our target is to set up centres of excellence, in areas like leadership development and corporate governance, among others. We currently have a centre of excellence which mentors and develops underprivileged students, who are engineers, in a way so that they get absorbed in IIMs or get job with corporates.