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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Disabled B’lore girl’s RTI plea bares CAT ‘secret’

IIM-B Forced To Spell Out Selection Parameters
TIMES NEWS NETWORK : Bangalore: A single application under the Right to Information Act by a visually-challenged girl could change the face of one of India’s toughest Bschool entrance test. Vaishanavi Kasturi, a visually-impaired B.Com student who sought information on the selection procedure at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, has helped remove the veil of secrecy in selection of candidates through the Common Admission Test (CAT). Appearing before the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC), A R Ramesh, public information officer at IIM-B, for the first time, spelt out five parameters that go into shortlisting CAT candidates for group discussion and interview. This information was so far held as a trade secret by the IIMs. Ramesh said candidates are shortlisted on the basis of their performance in Classes X and XII, degree and postgraduate exams, apart from work experience. In addition, the institute also fixes sectional cut-offs in the CAT paper. But IIM-B has refused to declare the quantum of weightage given to each of these parameters and also the weightage accorded to group discussion and personal interview in the final selection. Ramesh said, “Under the policy of the institute, we don’t have any provision to put this information in public domain. We are willing to share information with the candidate but cannot put it in public domain.’’ The KIC bench comprising K K Misra and K A Thippeswamy has asked the institute to discuss the matter with the higher authorities, so that the institute has a fresh policy whereby details of marks, ranks, selection procedure would be made public. Bright aspirant to miss IIM-B bus Despite confusion over the jurisdiction of the Central Information Commission or the Karnataka Information Commission over IIM-B, the institute shared the admission information with Vaishanavi Kasturi and her parents. The disclosure almost dismisses her chances of admission at IIM-B this year. Though Vaishanavi was among the 68 candidates shortlisted initially in the persons with disability category for group discussion and interview, she did not make it to the next round where 28 candidates were shortlisted. Vaishanavi stood 47th among the 68 candidates. “Vaishanavi lost out because she is yet to complete her degree and doesn’t have any relevant work experience,’’ IIM-B officials said. B-school under fire Bangalore: Hitting out at IIM-B for denying admission information to visually-challenged Vaishanavi Kasturi, the Karnataka Information Commission said the premier institute has a mind block on sharing information. The KIC asked the institute to be more forthcoming in putting information on admission, selection, merit list and ranking in public domain. “This will bring transparency in admission and earn goodwill to the institute.’’ TNN Publication: Times Of India Mumbai; Date:2007 Feb 27; Section:Times Nation; Page Number 13

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