The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blind girl fights IIM
- Student challenges admission process

New Delhi, June 2: A visually impaired CAT examinee has challenged IIM Bangalore’s final admissions list, questioning the relative weight given to the three segments of the admissions process.

Vaishnavi, a 22-year-old from Bangalore, obtained a percentile of 89.2 in CAT, above the mark set for candidates in the persons with disability (PWD) category. She claims her performance in the interview was “perfect” while her group discussion was “so-so”.

“Since the GD and the interview are both part of the post-CAT process, I believed they would have equal weightage. If that is not the case, the IIMs should have clarified so in their admission brochure,” her application to the B-school says.

She now wants the B-school to provide her a copy of the PWD-category admissions list along with the marks each student obtained in the GD and interview. “I also want the weightage assigned to the GD and the interview,” the application says.

This, she says, will help her prove that if, “as common sense would suggest”, the GD and interview carried equal weight, she would have got in.

With the IIM unwilling to meet her request, Vaishnavi has moved the Central Information Commission.

If she can get the information and move court, she will be challenging the entire admissions list because the relative weight given to the segments are the same across all categories.

Senior IIM officials said the GD has “one-and-a-half-times” the weight of the interview.

“We understand that students are under pressure, but there is no way we can give her the list of all candidates and the marks they received as that would be a violation of the fiduciary relationship we share with all applicants,” an official in charge of the admissions process at the institute said.

The B-school has told the Central Information Commission it is willing to reveal Vaishnavi’s marks in the GD and interview and the weight accorded to each “if the body insists”. The commission has asked the IIM to argue its case on June 18 in Vaishnavi’s presence.

“The IIM has officially told us that their main concern is that given the highly competitive market for the top students, such a controversy may hurt the institute’s image,” a senior commission official said.

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