CAT registrations at seven-year high after IIMs extend deadline

The IIMs received 232,434 applications for the common admission test (CAT), with a final boost during an extension in the registration window


CAT registration is seen as a barometer of interest in management education in India and is often linked to the employment scenario in the country. Photo: Mint
CAT registration is seen as a barometer of interest in management education in India and is often linked to the employment scenario in the country. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The number of applications received by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) this year is the highest in seven years, indicating a revival of interest in management education in India.

The IIMs received 232,434 applications for admission to their flagship management courses, with a final boost in applications during an extension in the registration window for the common admission test (CAT). According to IIM Bangalore, the coordinating institute for CAT 2016, the total number of registrations was 208,000 on 22 September when the original deadline for registration ended. A five-day extension brought in 24,000 more applicants.

Besides IIMs, nearly a hundred-odd top business schools such as the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon, Birla Institute of Management Technology in Greater Noida, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, and the management departments at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) select candidates through CAT.

“Total applications for CAT 2016 as of 5pm (closing time) on September 27, 2016 is 232,434. Last year (2015), it was 218,664,” IIM-Bangalore said in an email without providing more details.

The registration for CAT 2016 is the highest since 2009 when the IIMs received 242,000 applicants. Since then, the number of applications have been below the expectations of IIMs. There were 195,943 candidates in 2014.

CAT registration is seen as a barometer of interest in management education in India and is often linked to the employment scenario in the country.

The fresh CAT registration numbers point to a revival of interest in management education, which was subdued over the last few years.

India has 19 IIMs that admit nearly 4,000 students in their flagship postgraduate management course every year.

The employment situation in India has improved and the current spurt in applications can also be attributed to the good placement season earlier this year.

Business schools, including the IIMs, had said in February that both the number of offers as well as salary packages had seen handsome growth, especially in sectors such as banking and finance with consulting firms recruiting in good numbers. The momentum seems to be continuing.

“The job market seems to sustain the momentum gained in the past few quarters... primarily driven by growth in sectors viz., IT services, BPO (business process outsourcing) and BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance). While bigger metropolitan cities continue to drive this growth, good to see the emerging markets showing signs of revival and we can expect this trend to continue in the coming quarters,” said V. Suresh, chief sales officer at jobs website Naukri.com.

CAT 2016 will be held on 4 December and the results will be announced in the second week of January.

IIMs CAT registration in last seven years

CAT 2016: 232,434; CAT 2015: 218,664; CAT 2014: 195,943; CAT 2013: 196,000; CAT 2012: 215,000 ; CAT 2011: 205,000; CAT 2010: 204,000.

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