Six Indian and foreign-based education technology companies are competing to conduct CAT (Common Admission Test) – the entrance examination for Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) after the existing contract of Prometric Inc. – a U.S. based company expires this year.
Six education technology companies are in competition to conduct entrance test for IIMs. Prometric had been awarded the contract in 2009 and since has been conducting the exam on behalf of the IIMs.
Even though the concerned authorities at the IIMs admitted that they are currently busy identifying and choosing the company that will conduct the CAT during the next 5 years, they declined to shed any light into the details.
According to sources who are aware of the proceedings, at least six firms including Pearson, Prometric, MeritTrac, VUE, Eduquity and Aptech, are currently being considered by the authorities.
“We have started the process and it is continuing as per the rules. All the IIMs are involved in the process,” CAT convenor Rohit Kapoor stated, LiveMint reports.
Nagendra Sundararajan, executive vice-president of MeritTrac stated that his company was already in the fray. MeritTrac has had the experience of playing the role of a sub-contractor of Prometric during the first few years of the computerized test.
On being asked about the development, the authorities at Eduquity Career Technology expressed optimism that the IIMs will fetch a “level playing field”.
Meanwhile, R. Dhirendra – CEO of Eduquity said, “The EOI (expression of interest) deadline is over. They (IIMs) have not communicated anything to us formally but we hear the process has started.”
Since its inception, CAT has come under immense criticism on two occasions – once due to an embarrassing technical glitch in 2009-10 and once as a result of the score tampering scandal of 2012-13.
“With top Indian institutions looking to globalize their campuses, there is a very good possibility that in the next five years, CAT may go overseas. Here, selecting a good testing partner is the key as IIMs can ill afford any glitches,” said one official who anonymously revealed the names of the six companies competing for the contract.
Meanwhile, CAT 2013, which started on October 16 and will continue till November 6, has seen the lowest number of candidates (195,000) since the online test first started six years back.