115 more IIM Seats but CAT takers down

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115 more IIM Seats, but CAT takers down

Even as the Indian Institutes of Management have added 115 more seats this year, the overall registration for the Common Admission Test ( CAT ) has declined. The number of registrations fell from 2.14 lakh in 2012 to 1.94 this year, showing a decline of close to 9%. This year’s number is also the lowest in the last five years.

Tamil Nadu has gone with the trend, showing a dip of 6% over last year. As against with 13,121 candidates in 2012, only 12,348 registered this time. In 2011, as many as 12,602 candidates had registered for the test.

The number of candidates with little or no work experience has gone down from 68% last year to 66% this time. “It is understandable in our current economy that many working professionals choose to acquire greater work experience before diverting attention from their employment to undertake an MBA,” said CAT 2013 convenor Rohit Kapoor.

Experts said the existing sentiment among graduates that there are no jobs in the country despite a management degree has affected registrations. Former dean of IIM-Ahmedabad and currently faculty at IIM-Udaipur Jagdeep Chhokar said the demand for high quality MBA has not gone down, but a general global economic slowdown and oversupply of indifferent management education providers could have led to disillusionment with management education. “The opening of new IIMs is also a devaluation of an IIM MBA,” Chhokar said.

CEO of online management education provider myBskool.com K Swaminathan said that earlier engineering graduates had a choice of either opting for a job or taking CAT. Now they wonder whether it is worth it. “But, the demand for management education has not gone down. Online management education has seen a 30% increase in enrolment. Around 3 lakh students have enrolled in our mini-MBA course in the last nine months,” he added.

S Sri Ganesh, founder of coaching institute Dreamchasers, said that with B-school fees going up to [rupee] 10 lakh to [rupee] 15 lakh for the two-year course, many aspirants feel that the cost is too high compared to the returns after completing the course in a second rung institute in the country. “Many prefer to take GMAT and pursue a management degree abroad,” he said.

Across all IIMs, 115 seats have been added for B-school admissions this year, taking the tally to 3,335 seats. Maharashtra has the highest number of registrations, at 25,333, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu comes fifth on the list, followed by Karnataka.

CAT 2013 will be conducted over 20 days from 16th October, 2013 to 11th November, 2013. CAT scores will determine admission to many of the premier B-schools in the country, including the IIMs.