The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rerun of CAT on Feb. 15, no fees

Ahmedabad, Nov. 26: After two days of deliberation, the Indian institutes of management today announced that the cancelled common admission test (CAT) will be held on February 15.

“Announcements regarding other details will follow,” said Bakul Dholakia, the director of IIM Ahmedabad.

At his side at the news conference were all his colleagues at the five other IIMs — Prakash Apte (Bangalore), Shekhar Chaudhuri (Calcutta), A. Devi Singh (Lucknow), A.H. Kalro (Kozhikode) and S.S. Sudharssanam (Indore).

They regretted the “inconvenience caused to candidates, their families and others concerned” following the cancellation of the examination held on November 23 after an alleged leak of the question paper.

Students will not have to pay anything for the retest — each CAT form costs Rs 1,000.

The proposal to hold a retest on February 15 was forwarded to the six directors by the CAT Group, which conducts the examination. The standard cycle time of CAT is 14 months and holding it in two-and-a-half months will be a real “managerial challenge”, said the heads of the country’s premier business schools.

Turning down the human resource development ministry’s suggestion to scrap the interviews that follow the written test, the IIMs said they would stick to their time-tested process. “The question of doing away with group discussions and interviews doesn’t arise at all.”

“We have discussed extensively the secrecy and security of our system in the past three days to prevent a repeat of what happened last Sunday. Besides, we will incorporate the CBI’s suggestions to make our system more foolproof,” they chorused.

They declined to reveal where the question papers will be printed this time. The Mumbai-based Institute of Banking Personnel Services press, which is printing CAT question papers since 1986, has been named by the CBI as a possible source of the question paper leak.

Besides the CBI inquiry, the ministry is conducting a probe. “The incident hasn’t strained our relationship with the ministry,” said Devi Singh.

Describing the alleged leak as an “unfortunate development”, the six directors stressed that it would hardly have any impact on the credibility of the IIMs.

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