The director of the IIM asks to take the CAT exam in regional languages
Should the Common Admission Test (CAT), the basis for admission to top business schools including Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), be taken in English only or also in Hindi and other regional languages mentioned in the Annex VIII of the Constitution?
The director of IIM-Rohtak, Professor Dheeraj Sharma, has raised the issue with IIM-Indore, the CAT 2020 coordinator, suggesting that the exam also be conducted in Indian languages. CAT is currently conducted in the English language only.
According to a development aware person who spoke on condition of anonymity, Professor Sharma has written a letter to the director of IIM-Indore, Professor Himanshu Rai, noting that one of the goals of the National Education Policy (NEP) is to promote the learning in local languages.
Sharma, in his letter, wrote that IIMs could take the lead by allowing students who wish to do so to pursue administration programs in any of the Annex VII languages of their choice. Sharma urged Rai to raise the issue with the central committee that oversees the conduct of the test.
When contacted, Sharma confirmed that he had written to IIM-Indore, “suggesting” that a lack of English proficiency should not be a reason for a candidate not to pursue higher studies in management. The issue should be analyzed as it is also one of the NEP’s key areas, he said.
Significantly, the weight given to the CAT exam score differs from IIM to IIM. Some IIMs provide up to 60-70 percent weighting to the score and others assign it much less weight. More than 200,000 students take CAT each year.
Significantly, the letter from the IIM director comes at a time when the Union’s education ministry is looking for ways to promote higher education in Indian languages. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has emphasized in various meetings and speeches the need to provide higher education in Indian languages.
The languages included in Annex VIII of the Constitution of India are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Maithili, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.