Friday, August 26, 2011

Should I Write CAT Again?


First there were SC/STs…

Then came the OBCs…

Now it’s time for the women and non-engineers…

Finally it’s the ‘lowest of the low’ species, the kind you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole, the kind your parents had nightmares about, the kind who would be reduced to holy matrimony at 21, because the academic/professional/corporate world shunned them: yes, the NON-ENGINEER WOMEN. Especially if you are an ARTS GRADUATE like me, then, well, you have no hope.

But, but, but NOW, the premier management institutes in India have decided it’s time to finally sit up and “emancipate” this downtrodden, intellectually disadvantaged species by “donating” GRACE MARKS to US. Yes, all the six new IIMs along with IIML and IIMK are now introducing measures to “address the gender inequality in their campuses”. IIM Rohtak, in particular, is awarding, hold your breath, 30 EXTRA MARKS to NON-ENGINEER WOMEN. Flunking all the engineering entrance exams is finally going to pay off!!

I still can’t decide whether to laugh or cry, whether to be offended or liberated, whether to brush it off as yet another idiotic idiosyncrasy or a noble intention to “encourage diversity” in oestrogen-starved Indian B schools.

I have never subscribed to the cut-off based admission process, be it CAT or any other management entrance exam. Not because I failed to crack Quant cut-offs in my two attempts at CAT, not because I can’t calculate 1/17th of a million under a millisecond and definitely not because I think entrance exams give an “unfair advantage to engineers”. Honestly, they don’t. The syllabus is based on your 10th std Math, and if you managed to get through your Boards, you are as good as anybody to write CAT, without the crutch of “grace marks”.

But I sincerely believe that there should be more to a worthy application than a 99.99 percentile in CAT and your entrance exam score should be just ONE of the parameters, even for a shortlist. In that respect, I think SPJain, SCMHRD, TAPMI and MICA are much more evolved in the way they shortlist candidates (I won’t get into the admission process of ISB or B schools abroad because their target audience is different). Now, there will always be counter arguments of lack of transparency, but I would rather risk not knowing why I didn’t make it despite a high score than being reduced to a number.

I am all for diversity on campuses and I fully support some of the recent changes like introducing a written assessment task instead of a GD, taking account of the overall academic record as well as work experience along with CAT scores. But I just don’t agree that awarding grace marks to girls/non-engineers/dusky people/short people is the best way to go about it, because, well, they are so rare.

By that logic, I am an East Indian, non-engineer, short, dusky girl, and therefore I should have automatic admission.

May be it’s alright to have a qualitative aspect to the selection process…

May be cut-offs are not so sacrosanct after all…


May be, just may be, you can still be a decent manager even if you can’t figure out the probability of that damn spider reaching that corner of the room, given the complex web of complex numbers…

8 comments:

Neil said...

You should join the IIMs and campaign for free placements for disadvantaged people like you. At a higher salary than others. Start the revolution. The nation will soon reverberate with cries of "Women are Shimonti" and "Shimonti is / are women" .....

Nefertiti said...

@neilso u agree m disadvantaged? n dont call me 'woman'... i m still a girl. n the nation already has enough revolutions right now, so I think I should wait for the perfect timing

Neil said...

Im just saying what we all know. Anyways you dont wait for the perfect timing. You wait for the perfect time. No wonder .....

Nefertiti said...

@neil

arggghhhh....... stop embarrassing me on public forums...

Amit Gupta said...

It is an absolute disgusting, sexually discriminating decision.

PS: I am feminist, who by the way is not someone who bashes females but asks for equal rights for men and women.

rantingsofadelusionalmind said...

Isn't it derogatory to give grace marks to someone? Isnt it as good as saying, "We know you aren't good enough...So here's a paltry something to make you feel better?"

Nefertiti said...

@amit gupta
equal rights indeed... welcome!

@rantingsofadelusionalmind
ls just say its a good intention, implemented crudely

Shaili said...

I study at MICA and it has always (intentionally or unintentionally) had a 1:1 gender ratio (Yes, one boy for every girl :-P).

But then, it's not quite your usual Bschool. :D

PS Yes, I love MICA, and it shows.