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CAT 2016: Eligibility criteria of CAT and IIM A contradicts

Last Updated - September 29, 2016

A recent update about the CAT 2016 has unnerved a lot of students. The CAT 2016 Eligibility Criteria and the IIM-A do not match. The new eligibility norms announced in the admission policy by IIM Ahmedabad are totally contradicting to CAT’s eligibility criteria for the PGP 2017-2019. The PGP or the Post-Graduate Programme in Management of IIMA, is rated as the toughest MBA programme in the world to get admission. It is also the flagship programme of IIM-A. After years of sweat, blood and tears, students fetch admission into this course. 

So what are the repercussions? Will the CAT 2016 Toppers will be at loss? Well, it is a huge topic of dialogue and discussion. IIM-A not considering the top CAT Scores of the students and following a different eligibility criteria can shatter dreams of many.

This year, the CAT exam is scheduled for December 4,2016 and the CAT 2016 Results shall be declared in mid-January, 2017.

CAT 2016 to accept 2 years Bachelor’s degree

The CAT Centre 2016 has announced that it will be accepting 2-year Bachelor degrees, allowing 14 years of education upto graduation. There is also no minimum age to apply for the CAT 2016 and candidates remain eligible to apply in the 20 IIM’s. The CAT 2016 Registration form has also been amended, keeping in mind the above changes.

This whole phenomenon can be confusing for the applicants. The eligibility criteria for admission to CAT 2016 allows candidates with 2 years of Bachelor’s degree, where they are also eligible to apply in various courses of the 20 IIM’s. The admission to these IIM’s will be based on a candidates CAT 2016 Score.

The contrast: IIM- A disapproves 2 years of Bachelor’s degree

Students have been totally baffled with this new move of IIM-A. It will be very disappointing for any CAT Topper with 2 years of graduation, to appear separately for the IIM-A Entrance Exam. It is being believed, that the IIM-A in all possibilities, will follow a different eligibility criteria than the other IIM’s. It might ask the candidates to apply only if they possess 15 years of education till graduation, mismatching with the CAT 2016 eligibility criteria of 14 years of education till graduation.

The IIM-A announced that its flagship PGP 2017-19 batch will follow a different eligibility criteria, declaring, “The bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification obtained by the candidate must entail a minimum of three years of education after completing higher secondary schooling (10+2) or equivalent.”

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Will the Top Executives be at loss?

With the whole cloud of confusion, the IAS, PSU and other top executives might find themselves unfit to apply for IIM-A, if they possess a 2 years Bachelor’s degree. The old graduation system, that lasted till about 1980’s, awarded only 2 years of graduation degrees. So even if these top bureaucrats scored a 100 percentile in their graduation, IIM-A will refute their admission.

This new move has indirectly imposed an age restriction for the aspirants. The candidates possessing 2 years Bachelor’s degree will definitely be of an older age today, as compared to the ones with 3 years Bachelor’s degree. And hence, we see the age restriction being automatically imposed. These old CAT Toppers are mostly at very high posts today, and not being considered for IIM admissions can be a loss for the institute too. Perhaps, the contrast in eligibility criteria may not be able to bring in a lot of age and academic diversity in the classroom. It is of utmost importance for IIM’s to clarify this amendment as soon as possible. We also seek interference of the MHRD in the same issue, to work best for all.


Who will bear the blame?

Where the CAT 2016 requires a candidate to have 2 years of graduation to seek admission in different IIM’s, the IIM’s announced a different criteria. The no age bar of CAT Exam and the hidden age criterion by the IIM’s, is a topic of debate too. This will put all the aspirants in a dilemma and some in huge loss.

The whole issue has given rise to questions such as- Will only the engineering/medical/law or other such graduate courses, where 3-4 years of study period is pursued will be applicable? What happens to academic diversity then? Who will bear the onus of this change? What about the students who face any loss? This will put all the aspirants in a dilemma and some to huge loss too. But, we let the MHRD and IIM’s find the solutions and come out with the best answer.


Other Institutes accepting the CAT 2016 Score

Other than the prestigious IIM’s, there are many management institutes in the country that accept the CAT score for admission into their post graduate courses. Some of them are:

Apart from the ones mentioned above, CAT 2016 score will also be accepted by IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, IIT Madras and other IITs for admission to their MBA / PGP/ PGDM 2017-19 batches.



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