Anurag Jain's Blog
Thursday, November 27, 2003

Details on what happened during CAT leak at IIMs.

A forwarded mail from an IIMA PGP2. Not sure if I should publish this. Heck, I just did.

-----Original Message-----
Subject: Fw: Important-- Help the IIM's

IIM side of the CAT scam...and a request to all alumni to chip in with watever help they can...
From Media cell co-ordinator, IIMA:
Hello all,

Since there has been a lot of confusion prevailing amongst all regarding the CAT paper leak, IIMA director, Prof. Bakul Dholakia today convened a meeting of all current students at IIMA and put forward

1. the account of events as they happened on Sunday (the day of the leak).
2. IIMA investigation of the incident
3. the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD)
4. Steps that IIMA is taking

Part 1: Account of events on Sunday:

* 7:15 AM: Director receives call from DIG, CBI. He informs Director that he has copy of question paper which seems to be CAT paper and he would like to cross check with CAT paper. Director says that even he doesn't have CAT paper and it is CAT committee (comprising of Admissions Head of six IIM's which can throw light on this). Director asks him to call back.
* 7:30 AM: Director contacts Prof Vijay Sherry Chand in Mumbai (IIMA's admissions head) and explains the situation. Prof. Sherry Chand gives him contact of Admission head of IIML (zonal IIM for Delhi where leak was detected), who is in Delhi for administering CAT.
* 7:35 AM: DIG, CBI calls again. Director gives him contact info of Prof Sherry Chand and that of IIML admission head.
* 8:00 AM: IIML admissions head is contacted. He directs CBI to Prof. Arpana Shukla (Prof at IIML) who is also in Delhi and supervising one of the centers in South Delhi, closest to CBI office.
* 8:15 AM: CBI goes to nearby center and finds that all trunks with CAT paper are safe. They try to open up trunk for paper. But Prof. Shukla opposes saying paper are sealed and cannot be opened before 11 AM. (What if CBI is wrong?).
* 11:00 AM CBI in presence of Prof Shukla and principal of DPS (CAT center) opens CAT paper.
* 11:35 AM: Paper was confirmed to be matching with one of the four sets of question paper.
* 11:40 AM Aaj Tak flashes CAT leak news.
* 11:45 AM Director receives a call from HRD ministry. They force him to cancel CAT. Meanwhile MHRD announces CAT retest. Director refuses saying only CAT committee can order retest which will be decided only after they confirm the news.
* 12:00 AM Director is attacked by media in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, HRD ministry gave ample publicity to news. Director takes charge of defending IIM system (and thus, IIMA gains focus of media).
* Director convenes meeting of CAT committee in IIMA on Tuesday and that of all other IIM Directors on Wednesday.

Part 2: IIMA investigation of the incident:

This is fairly long process. CAT process is divided into pre-printing and post-printing. Pre-printing process is totally in-house. All evidences (even soft copies) are destroyed immediately. No single person is coordinator and hence cannot have all the information all the time. Finalized question paper is converted into butter-paper copy (again in-house) and then taken personally to printer who prints it in fairly secured area. Printing, sealing and boxing up of paper takes almost 3 weeks. Then these papers are doubly locked in trunks, sealed and trunks are sent to various centers, where trunks are opened between 8-8:30 AM on CAT day. Papers re opened only during exam.

IIMA has contacted all 147 centers in 26 cities and their investigation has reveled that NOT A SINGLE trunk was opened and NOT A SINGLE paper
was disturbed. This shows that paper was photocopied before sealing it at the printer. (CBI has got photocopy of printed paper).

When Director has explained this to CBI and they are satisfied with their investigation, CBI has given clean chit to IIM's and declared that IIM system is fool-proof. Director is now working on re-test which will hopefully happen in the first week of Feb.

Part 3: the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD)

There has been tremendous pressure from MHRD for centralizing admission procedure for management schools. They wanted CAT to be postponed this
year. They had asked IIM directors on 22nd Oct to postpone CAT, which Directors declined. There have been MHRD demands to reduce the corpuses
at IIMs. MHRD trying hard to make IIMs to fall in line.

Part 4: Steps that IIMA Students are taking:

1. We have contacted all major dailies, magazines and some TV media for raising our voices against HRD initiatives.
2. Since Monday morning, the Media Cell at IIMA has given interviews to CNBC, Doordarshan, BBC among others to put forward our point of view.
3. The other 5 IIMs are also being roped in.

This is just to give you a brief update on what has been happening back at home. The Alumni and the Media Cell will be working to bring in the support of the alumni which will surely be needed in this. We really look forward to your help in this crisis where the autonomy of the IIMs (in their admission procedure and day-to-day functioning) is under threat. We will be grateful for absolutely any help that you extend us in this hour of need.

Best regards,

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