Economy | ‘77% of CAT applicants have taken the exam‘

Economy | ‘77% of CAT applicants have taken the exam‘

New Delhi-Roughly one in every four candidates who applied to sit for the first computer-based Common Admission Test, or CAT, had not yet written the exam by Sunday, two days before the snag-hit exam is scheduled to close.

Prometric Testing Pvt Ltd, which is conducting the test for admission to the elite Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), said on Monday that close to 187,000 candidates had written the test till Sunday, nine days after the start of the test. This is 77% of the 241,582 who applied to write the online exam.

The company, and the IIMs, also said a new test date will be announced in a fortnight for those candidates who are not able to write the test on Monday and Tuesday, the two remaining days of the test.

“A new test date will be announced in about a fortnight to provide an opportunity to all such candidates to write the test," said a statement on the official CAT website.

The inaugural computer-based test has been hit by technical snags and cancellations that prompted the government to seek a status report from the IIMs. The exam, launched on 28 November, was extended by a day till Tuesday to accomodate candidates whose exam was cancelled and needed to be re-scheduled.

Astha Gupta, 23, a candidate who faced technical glitches on the first day of the test, sat for a re-test on Monday. Another candidate, Shubhra Agarwal, 21, an engineer who could not write her exam on 29 November, said she had yet to get a re-test date.

“(I feel) Helpless," she said on Monday evening. “I cannot do anything other than mailing them (Prometric)".

US-based Prometric Inc.’s local arm won a closely fought battle to secure a five-year, $40 million contract to administer CAT, beating competitors such as Pearson VUE of Pearson Plc, based in the UK, the sole testing partner worldwide for the graduate management admission test.

While Prometric has blamed computer viruses for the test lab shut-downs, test prep companies, which represent an annual $104 million (Rs482 crore) market, said Prometric was ill-prepared for the test. The coaching companies said a heavy load on the servers could have led to the frequent crashes.


Icai elections witness violence

New Delhi: Elections being held by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) took an ugly turn on Saturday when a booth in Vaishali in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, was captured and officials were threatened, ICAI central council members said.

A first information report or FIR was lodged in the area police station, Indirapuram, they said.

“I was in another booth when I heard of booth capturing in Vaishali. By the time I reached there everything was already done," said an ICAI official who didn’t want to be identified. “The police also came and when, with the permission of election observers, the ballot box was opened, around 60 ballots, folded in a particular way different from what was prescribed, were found in one candidate’s name."

“I can’t comment as I have not participated in the election," said Uttam Agarwal, ICAI president.

T Kartikeyan, ICAI secretary, official spokesperson for ICAI during the election period, was not available for comments.

“This is very unfortunate, in bad taste and has not happened in the institute’s history," said Ved Jain, former president of ICAI.

— Sangeeta Singh