Friday, December 4, 2009

CATrama - Cat 2009 Drama

CAT went online, this is old news. But news channels across India horrified each and every participant interested in IIMs. On 28th Nov 2009 all the TV channels were neither concentrating on Indian Cricket Team nor fighting with Pakistan terror groups, but all of them were flooded with the news of crashing servers, with the stories of the students who could not take the exams and with the views of negligence of Indian Institute of Managements. Each small or big journalist was rebuking IIMs’ display of negligence and blaming IIMs for compromising with their testing and judging standards. All news papers, TV channels, kids, forums were standing together to slam and doubt the reputation of world’s most renowned Indian institutes. Were IIMs really worth of this flak? Dint IIMs take all precautions to ensure their own reputation?
In my personal view, they were not. We all are in a society where we are living on the tip of valley where minimalistic error could disjoint our bones. IIMs are no exception to this rule.
IIMs’ biggest mistake was not able to ensure that the prometric server would take such a huge load on day 1? IT call it performance testing. So the question is; whether IIMs ever questioned Prometric about performance testing if not then it was the biggest loophole which they will add in their priority list for next year. This loop hole was exposed the very first D-day which scathed the reputation of the institute. But even after considering it as a glitch, if we look at the percentage number of the students who could not take the exam at the designated day is hardly .5%. Considering such a huge software problem there were 99.5% students who could complete their exam on the designated time and place without any hiccups.
Second problem was IIMs could not control our hands and legs (L, why not?). Now if some terminal restarts in the middle of the exam then on what grounds can we blame IIM? Do IIMs need to draw a line between our body parts and terminal switches or do they need to provide a rope to tie our legs in case our legs (During exam my leg spread apart as my mind does not know load sharing JJ) are not in control? At few locations candidate could not open test before restarting the server. Were such problems huge? Na, but such small problems were aired to probe how casually money minded IIM’s dealt with CAT.
Except all these we have few more test takers who are reporting unfair advantage to the students who are going to give exams on last days. How it is unfair? Is it unfair because IIM is publishing the last slot papers and telling the students to prepare from the same questions or unfair because we are helping others to use unfair means? Is there a way to stop people from telling questions to their friends? Exam takers have already signed a non-disclosure agreement with IIM, but even after this if we do not have value of such agreement then it is us who are at the wrong side. Surely IIM’s can not ask government to block the test takers SIM card. Otherwise media (I am sick of this media now) will raise questions of Right to speak and many others.
I am not accepting that this time everything was flawless. There were people who got extra advantage, there were people who could not take exam in best suitable conditions and there were people who were sent back but in the path of major change these hiccups were minor. We human generally stand against Change that we are not accustomed to but once the change is applied we inherit it into our system. The question always arises, then why were we sacrificed for this change, but then who? Will this question change even after the century? Someone has to be sacrificed then why not us.
As an Indian, we all should respect our institutes which have given us the identity at world level. I appreciate the stand taken by IIM. They are neither scraping CAT-2009 nor planning to return to old format next year. We are in the society where small changes need solid heart because every small error could turn into infinitesimal outcry. IIMs have taken the right and big step and I feel they are almost successful in their aim. People will always have concern, but few things need to be negotiated, ignored in the way of innovation. Go green IIMs.
Badlaav Jarrori Hai