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Bengal students score in IIM entrance

New Delhi, Jan. 15: Students from Bengal may be struggling to get into the IITs but appear to be finding it easier to clear the Common Admission Test (CAT) for entry into the IIMs.

Out of 8,597 candidates scoring over 95 percentile marks, 588 are from Bengal, CAT convener Rohit Kapoor of IIM Indore told The Telegraph. Among the 8,475 students placed in the 90 to 95 percentile, 607 are from Bengal.

“The overall performance of students from Bengal is good,” Kapoor said.

In the IIT-JEE last year, 1,387 candidates from the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education sat for the JEE-Main and 235 qualified, while 1.13 per cent of the total students got through.

But IIM Indore sources pointed out that all the students from Bengal who cleared CAT need not be from the Bengal board. Some would have done their schooling under national boards like the CBSE and the CICSE.

Girls lag

Of the 8,597 top five percentile holders in CAT, only 1,389 are girls. In Bengal, 83 girls figure among the top 588.

In the second category, out of the 8,475 candidates, 1,874 are girls. From Bengal, 114 girls made the list.

Eight candidates, all boys, scored a perfect 100 percentile. Seventeen, including one girl, were at 99.9.

An IIM director said the participation of girls in CAT has remained low traditionally, and now stands at about 30 per cent. “The number of girl students is gradually increasing. But it still remains low,” the director said.

This year, 1.73 lakh candidates, including about 60,000 girls, sat for the test in 76 centres across 40 cities over a 20-day window from October 16 to November 11. The results were announced yesterday.

Some of the IIMs are giving grace marks to encourage more girls to sit for the test, sources said. IIM Calcutta awards three extra marks to every girl candidate and two extra marks to every candidate from any of these courses — BA, BA(H), BSc, BSc(H), BCom, BCom(H), BCA, BBA, BPharma, LLB, MBBS, BDS or any other non-engineering bachelor’s degree. A girl from a non-engineering background will, therefore, get five extra marks.

The grace marks for students from a non-technology background is aimed at getting more students from other streams to participate in CAT. All the eight toppers this year are engineering graduates, of whom six have a BTech degree from the IITs.

Kapoor said that the counselling for admission would start later this month. The 13 IIMs would offer about 3,500 seats in the Post-Graduate Programme (PGP).

Several leading private business schools also admit students through CAT. “We will get the CAT results within a week after which we will start admission,” said H. Chaturvedi, director of the Birla Institute of Management and Technology, Noida.