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Joint admissions for new IIMs

Joint admissions for new IIMs
The new Indian Institutes of Management, (IIMs) namely IIM Ranchi, IIM Rohtak and IIM Raipur, along with IIM Trichy have planned a joint admission process this year. An initiative by IIM Ranchi"s director MJ Xavier, the gesture will see through common group discussions and personal interviews of around 3,000 successful CAT candidates. Pagalguy spoke to MJ Xavier to find out why this exercise was mooted.

Why a joint admission process for the new IIMs?

I basically believe in collaboration rather than competition, which I had made clear when I took over as the Director of IIM Ranchi. Luckily my Chairman Mr. R C Bharghava too has similar views and has put it in the IIM Review Committee Report submitted to the Ministry of HRD. In principle, we want to collaborate in many more aspects than just admissions; that includes sharing of resources and common sourcing to gain cost efficiency. This will help us build more efficient institutions that would soon be able to measure up to global standards.

With regard to admissions, the Directors of the four new IIMs met in the Noida campus of IIM Lucknow on 18th January and decided to work together. Apart from gaining cost efficiency for the Institutes, it would save time and money of the students. When we can have a common admissions test, why can"t we agree to have a common GD/PI process? However the final selection by the individual institutes will be based on their own criteria.

Will the criteria for these admissions be different from the other older IIMs?

Though the PI Score will be common to all the four IIMs, the final selection by individual institutes will be based on their own criteria and weightage for different components, such as work experience, academic performance, extra curricular activities, CAT score, PI scores etc.

Professor Rameshan of IIM Rohtak has put out comprehensive criteria for shortlisting of candidates, which will be followed by those of IIM Raipur and IIM Trichy. We are using our own criteria for shortlisting candidates. Since IIM Ranchi would like to be known in the field of Analytics, we have given greater weightage to CAT score and consequently our CAT cut-off is higher than that of others. Average CAT score of our current batch is higher than that of IIMA as they look for many other aspects including consistent academic performance in Xth, XIIth and UG level. My belief is that people who have seen ups and downs in life would be better equipped to manage the turbulent business environment. So I am not averse to looking at candidates with a lot of variability - in terms of academics and CAT components.

Is there some criteria change in IIM Ranchi compared to the first year?

No. My mentor Institute - IIMC, has set the right tone for the institute by selecting students with high CAT score for the first batch. We will continue with the same.

Are you satisfied with the profile of the first batch of students? Do you prefer fewer engineers like IIML?

I am extremely happy with the profile of the first batch. I would not like to force diversity into the programme. We shall achieve it by offering various programmes. For example, we plan to offer a two year programme on Business Analytics that will attract students with specialisations in statistics, mathematics, econometrics, linguistics, psychometrics etc.

How will joint admissions be done practically? Will there be a common panel to handle the GDPI?

One of the IIMs will play the co-ordinator"s role each year. To start with, IIM Rohtak will be the nodal point for the GD/PI process this year. Individual institutes will send the list of shortlisted candidates for interview to the nodal institute which will consolidate and work out the interview schedules.

We plan to have four centres, namely Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. We have allotted responsibility to the centres as below.

Bangalore- 28th February to March 6th - IIM Ranchi

Mumbai - March 8th to 13th - IIM Trichy

Delhi - 15th to 22nd March- IIM Rohtak

Kolkata - 26th to 30th March-IIM Raipur

The co-ordinating institutes will arrange for the venue and panels for the GD and PI. However uniform criteria will be used at all the centres for assessing candidates. Apart from the four centers, IIM Ranchi, Rohtak and Raipur will have interviews in their headquarters on April 2nd.

Logically, should not the mentor colleges work on admissions with their respective partners?

Of course, yes. IIM Ranchi made this common GD/PI move only with the concurrence of IIMC and with the blessings of our Chairman Mr. R C Bhargava. Until we learn to get up and walk, we would continue to seek the support of our respective mentor institutions. We should be able to do that soon so that we can grow out to build our own individual identity and set benchmarks in line with the global standards.

Is the intake of students being increased?

Yes, It has been decided that IIM-Ranchi will admit 70 students in its postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM) programme for the 2011-13 session, while IIM Raipur and IIM Trichy will admit 60 students each and IIM Rohtak about 120 students.

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