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IIMs may see better gender mix, greater discipline diversity in new batch

The premier B-schools have been according weightage in pre-interview screening and shortlisting process to enhance gender and discipline mix

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad

Following the rise in academic and among (CAT) takers, the Indian Institutes of (IIMs) may see increased diversity in the incoming batch for 2018-2020 this year. To achieve this, the premier B-schools have been according weightage in the pre-interview screening and shortlisting process to enhance gender and discipline mix.

For instance, according to Ahmedabad's admissions office, the increasing discipline diversity is due to its admission policy, which gives interview calls to candidates from various academic disciplines based on their academic performances, subject to clearing certain cut-offs.

"This is being done with the conscious effort to improve the in-class experience of the students, who we believe would benefit from being in a class with people from diverse backgrounds. However, we do not have any quota for women. The improvement in is partly because of the conscious effort of the committee to make it friendly towards women and also, perhaps, because women are getting more interested in education," it stated.

However, this year, the rise in diversity has been accentuated by the entrance test results where top 20 list of candidates scoring 100 percentile contained two female candidates and three non-engineers as against all top 20 in 2016 being male and engineers, as per Lucknow, which convened 2017.

As per IIM-A, earlier had an overly quantitative focus, which gave an edge to students from certain backgrounds, who had no connection with the field of As a result, more deserving candidates, in terms of potential to stand out in the field of management, lost out.

"A by-product of that section of candidates selected had no interest in our curriculum, which has changed a lot over time and has become less quant-focused. As a result, many IIMs started reducing weight on to address this issue. We have now tried to rectify this anomaly.

If you look at the results this year, a lot of non-engineers have done well. So I'd say that it has been a welcome decision to make less quant-focused. However, this is an evolving process, and some more changes may be seen in the coming years," said IIM-A's admissions office.

Coupled with efforts made by the premier institutes in their admission process, 2017 outcome may result in further diversity at campuses this year. IIMs have already been granting increased weightage during the shortlisting process

For instance, Kozhikode (IIM-K) has been giving weightage for and academic diversity in the initial shortlisting stage over the past 4-5 years so that more female/non-engineering candidates get an opportunity to appear for interviews.

As a result, says Sony Thomas, PGP Admissions Chair at IIM-K, the current batch of 2017-2019 has students from 24 states, 37 per cent of the batch from IITs/NITs/Central Universities, and 69 per cent of the students with prior work experience.

"Last year women and non-engineers made up 26 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively. This year the percentage of women has risen to 29 and non-engineers make up 15 per cent," said Thomas.

Similarly, at 31 per cent, Calcutta had last year posted its highest share of female candidates in its 462-strong batch. As against 16.5 per cent in the previous batch of 2016-18, IIM-C saw the share of female candidates rise to 31 per cent or 145 students in 2017-19 batch, its highest ever.

Kozhikode has been following a three0stage process where it has been giving five per cent weightage for and academic diversity in the initial shortlisting stage, so that an increased number of non-engineers and female candidates get an opportunity to appear for interviews, said Thomas. "We have not made any changes this year. We have been getting a good mix of candidates over the past few years with the existing admissions policy."

Last year, Bangalore too had seen ratio of commerce students bagging seats at IIM-B rise from six per cent in the previous batch to eight per cent, while in terms of work experience, from 76 per cent last year, IIM- B saw the same rise to 80 per cent of batch having work experience, averaging around 30 months.

First Published: Sat, January 20 2018. 18:34 IST