The six new Indian Institutes of
Management (IIMs) are set to break away from tradition by
making radical changes in the selection process. They are planning
to do away with the group discussion (GD) that forms a crucial part
of the selection process at the elite business schools.
The change in the admission process, with a written test replacing the group discussion round, will take place at the IIMs in Raipur, Rohtak, Ranchi, Udaipur, Tiruchirappalli and Kashipur in the coming year.
Emphasising that GD round discriminates against candidates with a low-key demeanour, IIM Raipur director B.S. Sahay said, "Instead of going for individual GDs in every single institute, we are going to hold a common written analysis test for all the six new IIMs."
Sahay also explained that in a Group Discussion some students are dominant and
a dominating candidate is not necessarily the best. In the process to get noticed he tries to dominate the discussion and then it becomes chaotic, and not fair on students who are quiet but bright.
However, the seven older IIMs won't be changing the selection process for students. Candidates selected after the Common Admission Test (CAT) are called for the GD round in which they are broken up into groups of 8-10 that analyse a particular topic. Sometimes a group is given a case study to come up with a solution. A panel observes the groups and evaluates students based on their contribution to the discussion. A final selection is made after interviews with chosen candidates.
This new measure adopted by news IIMs is hailed by students of small cities who feel that they often get sidelined. Sometimes, a dominant candidate from a big city is aggressive and he hijacks the GD.
The new IIMs believe that the reformative step will help them to gauge the analytical ability, comprehension and communication skills of candidates better. The students aspiring to get admission in new IIMs will be asked to write on a case study, an essay or few paragraphs on a socio- economic situation.
Talking to Live Mint, Sahay explained how a student will be evaluated in this round. He said, "The focus in the proposed test will be on the practical and will offer an insight into how an individual takes up a challenge, analyses it and communicates it effectively to take control of the situation."
A common written analysis for all the new IIMs will reduce the burden on students as they won't need to travel from one city to another to attend individual GDs.