After receiving a report from the convener of the Common Admission Test for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said dry runs ought to have been conducted to rule out every possible error. For, this was the first time CAT was going online.

Talking to journalists on the fourth day of the first-ever experiment of IIMs conducting their all-India CAT online, Mr. Sibal said he had sought a report from CAT convener Satish Deodhar.

The report came on Tuesday and as per the data available for the first three days of the test, 8,297 of the 45,367 candidates had difficulties.

“Hold enquiry”

Noting that the government could not interfere with the conduct of the tests as the IIMs are autonomous institutions, the Minister said they should conduct an enquiry into what went wrong. Preliminary enquiries point to hardware failure, besides a virus attack.

Conceding that failure of such a scale should not have happened, Mr. Sibal said Prometric — the American firm which was entrusted the task of conducting the computer-based CAT 2009 — said the tests would be rescheduled for the candidates who faced problems.

“No aberration”

The issue was also raised in the Lok Sabha by the deputy leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sushma Swaraj. Describing the IIMs as a global brand which set standards for most business schools, she said it was ironical that a country which aspired to be an IT superpower could not conduct a simple entrance test.

So many centres collapsing could not be called an aberration, she added.