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Thursday, February 22, 2007

IIM-B rejects disabled girl

Rebuffs Bright Aspirant’s RTI Plea For Details Of Selection
TIMES NEWS NETWORK , Bangalore: Like thousands of MBA aspirants, Vaishanavi Kasturi spent endless hours with books and her computer, taking mock tests, brushing up her English and trying to improve her data interpretation skills for almost three months to crack the Common Admission Test.
When the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) announced the results of CAT 2006 last month she was happy. With a percentile score of 89.29, the visually-challenged Vaishanavi had outscored thousands of other students, including some of her own classmates.
After IIM-B announced the CAT percentile score cut-off under the Persons With Disability category as 86.42, she was certain of she would be called for a group discussion and personal interview. That never happened.
“I was really hurt. I hoped I would be called for the discussion, but I did not receive any letter. Someone suggested I file an application under the Right to Information Act. I did. But the reply given by the institute has hurt me further,’’ says the sixth semester B Com student at SBMJC.
The premier institute has refused to give the names and percentile marks obtained by shortlisted blind candidates, saying it is a “trade secret’’. “At IIM-B, the processing formula applied for the selection of candidates for group discussion and interview is considered to be trade secret and kept confidential,’’ was A R Ramesh, IIM-B public information officer’s reply.
The institute has said that information on the selected candidates is confidential! “The decision of the admission committee is final. There is no provision for appeal or review,’’ was IIM-B’s stern reply.
Institute’s decision to deny admission and information has left activists fuming. “There is no provision in the RTI Act to deny information about selected candidates. How can that be a trade secret? Under Sec 8 of the Act, information which cannot be denied to the parliament or the state legislature cannot be denied to any person,’’ C N Kumar, RTI activist, said.
Vaishanavi is not giving up. “I have decided to go on appeal. I will approach the institute director and even the Central Information Commission for denying information,’’ she said.
IIM or otherwise, the B Com student is keen on pursuing a career in MBA. “I want to specialise in finance. I am considering taking up a job for one or two years and pursue MBA with some work experience,’’ says Vaishanavi.
Publication: Times Of India Mumbai; Date:2007 Feb 21; Section:Times Nation; Page Number 13

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