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Data block rap for IIM

Bangalore, Feb. 26: A visually challenged girl student today won the first round in her battle against the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, over transparency in its admissions procedure.

A petition filed by Vaishnavi Kasturi prompted the Karnataka Information Commission to ask the B-school to get rid of its “mind block on sharing information” and be more forthcoming on admissions, selection and the merit list.

Vaishnavi, a third-year BCom student of SBMJC college, had written the Common Admission Test and scored more than the cut-off announced by IIM Bangalore for candidates with disability. But the expected call for a group discussion and interview never came.

She then filed an application under the Right to Information Act asking for the names and percentile scores of the short-listed blind students, but was denied the information.

A.R. Ramesh, the institute’s information officer, wrote to her that the formula for selection of candidates for a group discussion and interview was a “trade secret”.

“The decision of the admission committee is final. There is no provision for appeal or review,” his reply said.

Vaishnavi filed an appeal before the state information commission, which asked the B-school to file a reply by today.

Ramesh argued before the commission that as the institute was not funded by the state government, the commission lacked the jurisdiction to hear Vaishnavi’s appeal.

But state chief information commissioner K.K. Misra and information commissioner K.A. Tippeswamy said that as the state had allotted 100 acres for the B-school’s Bannerghatta Road campus, the commission could discuss the issue.

The commission asked the IIM and Vaishnavi to file their replies on the institute’s funding pattern by April 23.

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