A notice on IIMs' website says CAT scores have been tampered with.

MBA admissions in top B-schools for 2013-2015 have run into trouble, with the IIMs declaring that marks of CAT (Common Admission Test) have been tampered with and altered.

A notification on the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) website says: “The 2012 Common Admission Test (CAT) scores of 80 examinees on the website www.catiim.in have been tampered/altered, resulting in inflation of scores for these examinees.” The notification also contained the testing IDs of the candidates.

Prometric, an online exam provider, conducted the test this year, while the results were published on a website managed and hosted by Web Weavers. IIM-Kozhikode was in charge of convening the test.

IIM officials said the admission process of their institutes was not affected as they used the master database of Prometric that was not tampered with. But well known B-schools, such as FMS-Delhi, NITIE-Mumbai, that use the online data have been affected.

Strict action

While some of the top B-schools have sought to downplay the impact on admission to their 2013-15 batches, some have initiated strict action. “We have informed our admission committee about the tampered IDs. We have not come across any of those till now,” said G. Srinivasan, head, department of Management studies, IIT–Madras.

According to sources, students with inflated CAT scores have already entered the final selection list for admission at different prestigious colleges in the country. “The range of selected students is mostly around 97-98 percentile. While some of them have cleared group discussions and entered interview rounds, a few would have even made it to the top notch list of reputed institutes,” said a professor.

The CAT was conducted between October 11, 2012 and November 6, 2012. The tests were computer-based, taken by the candidates at designated test centres.

Besides the 13 IIMs, nearly 170 management institutes consider CAT scores for their admissions.

Acting on the basis of a complaint, a comparison of CAT 2012 scores available on the website was initiated with Prometric’s master database of scores. The comparison showed the scores of 80 examinees have been tampered with or altered.

A case had been registered on June 15, 2013 at Kozhikode, under Section 420 of the IPC and Section 65 of the Information Technology Act, sources said.

IIM-Kozhikode officials said all non-IIM institutes that use CAT scores have been alerted and scores from master database are being provided to them. The IIMs have formed a committee to look into the process by which data was being managed and published externally.

A director of a private B-school that claims to have been affected said, “Only the six older IIMs are involved in convening CAT. Neither the newer ones nor other institutes are consulted about the process.”

“An investigation should be ordered into the older results of CAT, ever since the test went online in 2009. IIMs should provide other institutes with the raw data of the last few years,” he said.