In an incident more amusing than serious, the first 'paperless' entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) proved to be a bit of a disaster.
The Common Aptitude Test (CAT), which determines admission to over 100 business and management schools in the country, went online this academic year; but a server crash in several centres means that the candidates affected will have to re-take the test.
The glitches occurred in Chennai, Kolkata, Bhopal, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune soon after the CAT examination began, affecting a large number of the 240,000 set to appear in the staggered test which will continue until 7 December.
The IIMs said they would comment later. It was not clear how many students were affected. American firm Prometric, which has developed the computer system for CAT, said it was assessing what went wrong.
The CAT assesses quantitative, logical, verbal and data interpretation ability of students.
CAT scores determine entry to the IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Shillong as well as the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon, the Institute of Management Training in Ghaziabad, Mudra Institute of Communications in Ahmedabad, and Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research in Mumbai.
Around 50,000 students are to appear for the exam in Delhi over a 10-day period. The test is scheduled in 32 cities at 105 centres, all connected to a main server.
IIMs and Prometric have issued a notice to all the students appearing for the exam to avoid discussing the new format and questions till 7 December, when the exam schedule ends. But institutes that produce many of India's top business leaders are hardly expected to fall flat on their face the first time they try to go a bit high-tech!