"Why limit management entrance test to online?"

Describing as discriminatory, the All India Management Association (AIMA) has opposed the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) announced by the Centre for admission to all management courses. The apex body of management professionals, AIMA, has been conducting the Management Aptitude Test (MAT) for the past two decades.

In a letter to the Human Resource Development Ministry, the AIMA has said MAT's uniqueness and success lay in its inclusiveness. It is conducted in both the online and paper-based format, reaching out to a much wider audience, accommodating the mixed education background of students while staying rigorous on testing aptitude.

The proposal to introduce and conduct a common management aptitude test (CMAT) exclusively in an online format is ill-suited to a big and diverse country like India. “While such a platform might work for more elite tests like CAT, which are mainly targeted at students in metros seeking admission to Indian Institutes of Management, conducting a common test of this nature in an only online format would only widen the digital divide.”

A large number of students who would avail themselves of this test would be from tier 2 and 3 towns, where accessibility to computers is limited; add to this connectivity, bandwidth and power issues. An online format will hurt the opportunities of many students from non-metros and less-connected areas. Instead of enhancing the scope and accessibility to management degrees, it will only end up being discriminatory, the letter said.

Citing the AIEEE-2011 test, the AIMA said only 4,900 candidates had opted for computer-based test of the 11 lakh applicants which showed that though there had been a significant growth in computer literacy, the reach has not been inclusive with reference to demographic distribution.