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A test tougher than CAT

New Delhi, March 29: The Indian Institutes of Management are in a flap a fortnight before call letters were to be sent to those who cracked CAT this year.

Candidates who cleared the Common Admission Test have already appeared for interview — all with the understanding that 27 per cent seats would be reserved for candidates from the Other Backward Classes. The final list of successful candidates was to have been ready by April 12.

The OBC aspirants now are unlikely to make it on the strength of the quota this year — or be told ever how they fared at the interview — unless the legal options the government is mulling bear fruit fast.

The new academic session in both IIMs and IITs will begin in June — two months before the court is slated to take up the constitutional validity of the quota.

At IIM Ahmedabad, Professor Ajay Pande, in charge of this year’s admission process, said 55 OBC students have gone through the final interview process. Of these, 17 were to be selected.

“Now none might be. The seats we had reserved for OBC students this year have suddenly vanished. How do we explain this to those students' Our only hope is at least some of them get in through the general category,” Pande said.

The IIMs had decided to increase the number of seats to accommodate the quota without hurting the general category.

With the OBC quota on hold now, the IIMs will have to decide whether to go ahead with the seat increase. If they do, the additional seats will go to the general category and SC/ST students.

The management schools had also decided, or were planning, to raise fees to part-fund the increase in seats. Uncertainty has crept up on the fee hike, too. “We will discuss the court order, and whether the fee hike is still needed,” said Professor S. Das of IIM Bangalore.

IIM Calcutta is likely to push for a hike in fee as well as seats, an official said.

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