ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Distinction and Discrimination in the IIMs

Cumulative Grade Point System

This critical analysis of cumulative grade point average system in the Indian Institutes of Management points out that there are three major sets of issues which the CGPA fails to address so far in India: additivity, temporal (and spatial) comparisons and heterogeneity. It argues that CGPA is unable to deal with burning issues such as discrimination, caste politics and unemployment.

In the 1960s, the government’s decision to set up two Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Ahmedabad and Calcutta heralded a new era of modern education, well in line with L K Jha’s proposed Indian Management Pool (which unfortunately failed to gain popular currency). The IIM in Ahmedabad was set up in collaboration with the Harvard Business School, and the IIM Calcutta with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloane School of Management. At present there are 13 IIMs all over India.

Admissions into the IIM system are through common admission tests (CAT), one of the toughest exams, conducted in rotation by different IIMs. Of the two lakh odd candidates that appeared in CAT 2012, only a few thousands got admission into the IIM system. Being centrally-funded government institutions, all IIMs follow the prescribed reservation policy, with over 50% seats reserved for scheduled caste (SC), scheduled tribe (ST), non-creamy Other Backward Classes (NC-OBC), and differently-abled people (DAP) categories. Typically, you need a CAT percentile of 97% and above to get into the IIM system as a general candidate. For SC/ST candidates, the percentile drops into 60%-65%, for NC-OBC to 70%-75% and for DAP, may even drop to below 50%. This naturally results in a huge diversity in the classroom. However, it is a matter of pride that inside the classroom no distinction is made.

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