Cursed CAT: Trouble on day three again (Lead)

New Delhi, Nov 30 (Inditop.com) The competitive Common Admission Test (CAT) for institutes of management and business schools, which went online for the first time this year, ran into trouble for the third consecutive day when a computer crash stalled the exam at centres in three cities, a leading coaching institute said.

“We have received student feedback that the exam was cancelled at one centre in Bangalore and two colleges in Bombay in the morning schedule,” Ulhas Vairagkar, director of TIME coaching institute, told Inditop.

Some students also complained that the computers failed at the Institute of Management Studies (IMS) Ghaziabad exam centre, stalling the CAT session Monday morning.

“For the CAT exam scheduled in the afternoon slot there is no problem,” said an official from the institute.

Earlier, however, another leading coaching institute said that day 3 of the exam was going smoothly.

“Until now we have not had any negative feedback on the test. So, after two days of computers crashing and bad management, the online version of CAT finally seems to have taken off smoothly,” said Gautam Puri, vice chairman of Career Launcher, a coaching institute.

The CAT exam, which determines admission to the country’s prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and other business schools, went online for the first time Saturday, but several students had a harrowing time when computers crashed in around 40 centres across the country on the first and second day.

Technical glitches and poor management has led to the exam being rescheduled for students of the centres across the country, creating a lot of confusion among the MBA aspirants. The exam’s staggered computer-based format has a 10-day schedule and will conclude Dec 7.

Ramesh Nava of Prometric, the US firm that developed the computer based CAT, said: “Exhaustive plans were developed and put in place well in advance of the start of the testing window.”

“Unfortunately, viruses and malware that attacked the test delivery system were not detected by the anti-virus software at the testing centres,” he added.

“All affected candidates have been notified and are currently being rescheduled within this year’s testing period,” Nava assured.

Around 240,000 students have registered for the CAT this year, which is scheduled at 105 centres in 32 cities, all linked to a main server.