New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on Monday declared the results of the common admission test (CAT) that will enable 199,000 candidates to seek admission in top business schools across India.

The CAT 2017 heralds two new trends—one demographic and another academic—for IIMs. Two women, and three non-engineers have found a place among the top 20 students.

It will also be the first time that students getting admission to IIMs will be awarded degrees instead of diplomas. Similar to the previous year’s examination, 20 candidates have scores that placed them in the 100th percentile in CAT 2017, even though the profile of these candidates were more diverse.

“While in CAT 2016 all the top 20 candidates were male and engineers, this year the top 20 list contains two female candidates and three non-engineers," IIM Lucknow said in an email. IIM-Lucknow was the coordinator for CAT 2017. IIM-Lucknow declined to give further details on the demographic profile of successful candidates.

Delhi-based Chhavi Gupta, an M-Tech graduate from IIT-Delhi was one of the two female candidates with a 100th percentile score.

“CAT 2017 result is great from a women’s point of view. In recent past, we have not heard of two women among CAT toppers," said Gupta, who scored 254 out of the maximum 300 marks. She said more women are now opting for management education and appearing for CAT and gradually you may see more women at top B-Schools.

“The demographic change this year will make B-School campuses more diverse in future," said Ankur Jain, chief knowledge officer of Triumphant Institute of Management Education (TIME), a coaching institute, that claimed two of its students from Delhi finding a place among toppers.

Over the years, more women are sitting for CAT. In 2017, 78,009 female candidates appeared for CAT as against 76,704 in 2016 and 69,176 in the previous year.

CAT was conducted in two shifts on 26 November. A total of 199,632 candidates appeared for the exam, which was conducted in test centres spread across 140 cities. The number of test takers this year was the highest in the last three years. After the results are announced, IIMs will announce their admission criteria largely based on CAT score, writing ability, group discussions and personal interviews.

India has 20 IIMs admitting nearly 4,000 students into their flagship two-year management programmes.

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