Honestly, I have never been a big fan of the education system here in India. Although, I haven’t studied from the premier institutes in the country, but I have a fair enough sense of judgement that helps me identify the key differences in the system here, in India, and that abroad. Anyways, why am I writing this post today? Well, the CAT 2012 results were announced today. If you do not know, the CAT is a national test in order to apply for admissions to the prestigious (for many!) IIMs in India and considered one of the toughest examinations in the country.
Now, the IIM Vs Non-IIM war can go on forever but I, being from a technical background and being a tech lover and journalist, felt terrible at the sorry state of use of technology by the so-called “best business schools” in our country. I also wrote the test (please, don’t ask why!) and although I had little hopes, I was excited to know my scores as well. The scores were announced at 3 AM on 9th January 2013 (Aren’t people supposed to sleep at the time!). Anyways, since I had little hopes, I had a very good sleep in the night and thought I would only check the scores once I wake up.
Unlike me, there are thousands of CAT enthusiasts who spent hours in front of their computers through the night only to see Gateway errors. Why? Because the best business schools in the country do not have even half the best technology that they should use. Candidates could not log in to the system before 4.15 AM and those who luckily could, faced the 404 Timeout a little while later. I fail to understand why it is so difficult to manage a system here. I am sure they have enough funds for this. Let’s do a small calculation:
There were 2.14 lakh registered candidates. The fees for the test was Rs 1600 for General candidates and Rs 800 for SC/STs (I guess General category students cannot be poor in India!) Now, considering an average cost of around Rs 1200, it results in a total collection of 25.68 crores which is 256.8 million rupees. I’ll leave the rest to my intelligent readers to figure out what is done with this money.
Apart from this, the IIMs charge a decent amount of fees as well. It is definitely not cheap and not very easy to afford. It’s just the hope of getting a high paying job that people don’t worry about spending so much or taking up a huge education loan. Any which ways, I felt that at least the conveners of this “one of the toughest” exams could at least make an effort and get proper systems installed so that students would not have to worry so much even after the exams.
If you are among those who wrote the CAT and did not get a 99 or so percentile, here is a piece of advice:
1. The biggest business houses in this country and outside were built by non-IIM grads.
A degree from the IIMs will definitely give a big leap, no doubt about that, but it will not guarantee you anything nor is it absolutely necessary. Most of the CEOs of global companies still don’t have an MBA degree. If you feel you need it, you should do it.
2. The world doesn’t end at IIMs.
A few years ago, I guess the IIMs were the only good b-schools in the country. But not anymore. There are many other institutes which are great and you should definitely have a look at them. Also, the FDI in Education Bill is in the Parliament and will hopefully be passed soon. With that, you’ll see the entry of many global schools in India. They will definitely steal the show!
3. If you still want IIMs, well there is always a next time:
Indian Co’s have become very receptive to executive degrees as well. So, if you think you are aging, then I guess it’s best to gain some decent work experience and get an executive MBA done. There is always a next time.
Best wishes to the ones who scored well. For the ones who didn’t, keep your eyes and brains open, there are much better options in this world.