Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will conduct the Common Admission Test (CAT) for the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) from this year.
Officials from IIMs said the five-year contract would be $5 million (about Rs 29 cr). TCS was chosen from seven bidders, foreign and national. Other companies include MeritTrac Services, Aptech, Eduquity Career Technologies, Prometric.
This brings to an end the five-year association of US-based Prometric with IIMs.
An admissions chairperson at an IIM said, "TCS emerged as the winner. An announcement to this may come in late July or early August. There will be several changes expected in the conducting of CAT this year wherein TCS is expected to ensure a glitch-free and tamper-proof experience."
A TCS spokesperson said, "We can confirm the news but all other information are classified and customer-confidential."
The IIMs had made CAT computer-based in 2009. Prometric and NIIT were assigned the task of conducting CAT in that year.
In 2009, thousands were unable to take the test due to technical problems. The IIMs blamed it on a virus.
The human resource development ministry had demanded a report on the incident, given by the convenor of CAT 2009, Satish Deodhar.
The tests were reset for those who could not take it and the results delayed. After its debut, Prometric dropped NIIT as the delivery partner and chose two service providers.
The IIMs had mulled scrapping computer-based CAT.
From 2010, IIMs and Prometric decided to include a longer testing period to provide candidates more choices, a longer test-site preparation period, an improved technology for registration and delivery, and fewer sites (online centres) to ensure a better test experience.
In June 2013, it was found scorecards of 80 had been tampered with.
IIM-Kozhikode (IIM-K), which convened CAT 2012, had got a tip-off. IIMs said given these had used the master database for shortlisting, the admission process had not been compromised in any IIM. The IIMs said in a joint statement, "Non-IIM institutes that have a formal relationship for the use of CAT scores are being alerted and scores from the master database are being provided to them. The IIMs are reviewing the process by which data are managed and published externally."
After the declaration of the CAT 2013 results, controversy broke over the scoring and normalisation process.
Around 95,000 had scored zero or negative. Many filed a plea to the Indore high court, as IIM Indore had administered the exam.