IIM B School heads to discuss common interview for IIM.

The much debated-issue on whether to hold a common interview and group discussion for IIM aspirants will figure prominently when the heads of the prestigious B-schools meet in the first week of November. The meeting expected to be chaired by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on November 2 will be held in the backdrop of opposition from a section of IIM teachers to this proposal.

While some faculties hold that a centralised interview at one place is not practical, HRD Ministry officials contend such a step will spare the students the trouble of travelling from one place to another to appear for interviews. As per the present practice, students clearing the Common Admission Test (CAT) apply for group discussion and personal interview separately to each IIM of their choice, and travel from one city to another to appear in them.

The faculties have earlier said that holding a common interview and group discussions will come in the way of exercising institute-specific preferences. This is because some the B-schools give preference to a candidates work experience while others focus on a studentís performance in graduation or a students performance in the interview. According to the convener of CAT 2010 Himanshu Rai, students themselves prefer multiple interviews because that increases their chances of admission. If they do badly in one interview, they still have a chance in the next. I have not come across a single candidate who is ready to endorse the idea, he said. He said IITs can hold common counselling because there is no personal interview involved in the process of admission. Under a proposal to bring uniformity in the system, each of the 13 new IIMs will have a representative in the interview board to select the student of their choice. Meanwhile, Ministry officials said a couple of new IIMs have introduced a common interview.

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