IIMs witness 50% increase in girls registering for CAT since 2013

New Delhi, Nov 28: The Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) have witnessed a major surge in women applicants this year. CAT 2018- the Common Admission Test for all IIMs- received 50% more applications from women than it did just five years ago. A total of 84,350 women registered for CAT this year as against 56,409 appearing in 2013.

78000+ women for 2019 IIM entrance

With the total number of registered candidates touching 2.41 lakhs this year, women constituted nearly one third of the total strength. As per registration data for CAT, there were 2.29 lakh registered candidates for CAT 2017 of which 78,009 were women. Of the 1200 additional candidates registered this year, 6300 are women.

The increase in women candidates is being viewed as an achievement towards attaining better classroom diversity. Following continued discussions around extremely homogeneous student profiles at the IIMs, the institutions have been making conscious efforts towards making their classrooms more diverse. This included reserving seats for women and candidates from non-engineering backgrounds. IIM-Kozhikode was the first to reserve seats for women candidates five years ago. In the first year of this initiative, the institute saw women comprising 54% of the total strength of their flagship PGP (Post Graduate Program). Also, 60% of the summer placement offers were made to them.

Student ratio likely to shift in favour of girls

As per IIM Kozhikode Director Debashis Chatterjee, one of the possible reasons for boys scoring better in entrance tests like CAT could be the fact that families generally focus- and hence, invest more- on boys’ education. Boys are more likely to attend rigorous preparatory coachings which make them faster with mathematical sections. However, studies have shown that there is no correlation between mathematical and managerial abilities. Considering the continuing focus on improving diversity in management classrooms, the student ratio is likely to shift in favour of girls in the coming years. Even now, different IIMs have different criteria for shortlisting candidates for group discussions and personal interviews. Besides CAT scores, the marks of X and XII standards and extra-curricular activities, are also considered. Girls generally fare better than boys in school and extra curriculars and hence could have an advantage over them.