CAT computer glitch to be short-lived: IIM director

New Delhi, Nov 28 ( Notwithstanding the hiccups faced by thousands of students on day one of the Common Admission Test (CAT), an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) director said the online examination is a “democratising process” and “all the problems will be sorted out quickly”.

“CAT on computer is a democratising process and aims at benefiting students in a large way. We have heard about the server problem but it won’t be a prolonged one,” Debashis Chatterjee, director of IIM Kozhikode, told Inditop.

“Online tests are not time and space bound. Hence, students who faced a problem on the first day will be accommodated within next few days,” he said, asking students not to panic or worry.

Over 12,000 students had appeared for the test for entry into the IIMs – the best B-schools of the country – on the first day.

The test will continue for the next nine days at 105 centres in 32 cities across the country. Students can appear in the test at these centres during the 10-day examination period. There are nearly 1,800 seats in the seven IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Shillong.

A few new IIMs that are expected to start classes in the 2010-11 academic session will also take students on the basis of this test. Several other leading management schools across the country also take students based on their CAT scores.

Chatterjee said when soemthing new comes into effect, it is opposed. “So, the coaching centres opposing the shift from pen and pencil to keyboard and mouse is nothing worrying. Everyone is free to air their opinions.”

Meanwhile, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, who is currently in Chandigarh, told reporters that the students who could not take their examination Saturday will be accommodated in next nine days.

“All the IIMs completely agree with honourable minister’s view. Let me reiterate the new exam pattern is not time and space bound. Technical glitches will be sorted out,” Chatterjee maintained.

Based on the feedback received from the students who took the CAT, Career Launcher, a coaching centre in Delhi, said as announced earlier by Prometric (the online test conductor for CAT), the number of questions was 60. There were three sections as in previous CAT papers, with a total of 20 questions.

The pattern of the paper was almost similar to previous CATs, although it was a notch easier than CAT 2008. Many centres across India faced technical problems due to which some centres had to delay the exam and postpone it to a later date, the coaching center said after analysing the aspirants’ feedback.