Kapil Bawiskar, 23, is anxiously waiting to see if he’s made the cut for the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore.
And a government decision might keep him waiting longer.
Applicants to the prestigious IIMs were expecting to receive admissions lists on Thursday. But as the government scrambles to reverse a Supreme Court decision temporarily outlawing extending quotas to other backward classes (OBC), students and universities find themselves in limbo.
On websites and blogs, the student community has mobilized and started discussing various options, such as filing a PIL in court if the admission list is further delayed.
And the IIMs say they intend to tell the government that a delay in admissions can affect the next academic session. “There will be many, many problems,” claims Prakash Apte, director of IIM-Bangalore, who also said IIMs may not be able to begin the session in June if the admission delays continue.
“The IIM schedule is so tightly packed that there is very little room for overflow,” said Gautam Puri, an IIM-Bangalore graduate and the managing director of Career Launcher India Ltd, a training institute for entrance examinations.
Late last month, the apex court ordered a stay on a government decision to reserve 27% of seats for OBCs in government institutions such as IIMs and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
Since then, the government has vowed to fight the stay and has asked institutes to put their admissions lists on hold.
On Monday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh consulted leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and other Opposition parties so that they could come up with a solution to the OBC issue.
On Sunday, as 2.5 lakh students appeared for the joint entrance examination to get into IITs, they were asked to fill in their caste—which some observers interpreted as a sign that the government thinks it has a chance to proceed with the 27% admissions.
The government’s decision specified that the 27% seats set aside for OBCs could not displace anyone else.
In November, Bawiskar, a graduate from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, joined 1.9 lakh candidates who sat for the combined aptitute test, an entrance examination for IIMs and other business schools.
In January, he was among the 3,500-4,000 candidates who were called for interviews. Only 1,500 of them will make it to the six premier business schools.
“The anxiety is not going away. Also, I am stuck over my future plan of action, If I don’t get through, I want to sit for Gmat,” said Bawiskar, referring to the admission test for US business schools.
The government has sought legal opinion on the stay order and plans to file a petition to review the order in the Supreme Court. The apex court can vacate the stay or stick to an earlier decision and order the government to hold a caste-based population census. The Congress, the largest party in the ruling coalition, and the Left parties, have said that no caste-based population census will be ordered.
PTI contributed to this story.