The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) are still not making public their admissions lists—and the ministry that oversees education is telling them to keep holding it back.
The premier business schools were to inform next year’s batch of their decisions on 12 April. The government is trying to reverse a Supreme Court decision that temporarily suspended a 27% quota allotment for members of other backward classes (OBC) at public colleges and universities, including the six IIMs.
Arjun Singh, Union minister for human resource development (HRD), said at a media briefing on Wednesday that he plans to file a petition in the court within a day or two seeking reversal. His ministry oversees education. “I hope it does not remain on hold for a long time,” Singh said.
In the meantime, IIMs are preparing two lists—one of general admissions and the usual 22.5% quota for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. And another list for the 27% quota students—in case the Supreme Court does indeed reverse course.
“I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will give consideration to the situation of OBC students who are already eligible for admissions,” the minister said.
IIM-Calcutta, for instance, short-listed 50 OBC candidates for interviews and chose 10 students. IIM-Indore also said it is in a similar situation. “Both Plan A and Plan B are ready,” said S.P. Parashar, the institute’s director.
In November, around 1.9 lakh candidates sat for the combined aptitude and entrance examinations for IIMs and other B-schools. Only 3,500-4,000 candidates were called for interviews, of which 1,500 will gain admission.
To make it to the interview stage at IIM-Calcutta, for example, the minimum score for a general admissions candidate was 43%, while scheduled castes had to score 26% and scheduled tribes had to score 21%. But members of OBC brought in for the interviews scored 40%.
Singh, who was addressing the media at the end of a two- day meeting of state education ministers, said: “All ministers agreed that the 27% quota should be implemented from this academic year.”
The first day of the closed-door summit with education ministers began with a squabble over how to divide funds to pay for the Union government’s flagship programme to send every Indian child to school, or the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). From this month, the states are being asked to put up half the money for SSA.
In this year’s Budget, the Union government increased the education cess from 2-3%. Part of the extra cess was supposed to pay for the extra seats and infrastructure needed in colleges to accommodate the expected wave of OBCs. Now, colleges say they will set aside the money for expansion anyway.