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Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Extra marks for women aspirants at Joka IIM

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The Times of India

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KOLKATA: Here is good news for women who wish to pursue management studies. If you are aiming to enter the exalted portals of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIMC), you will stand a better chance in the competition as compared to your male counterparts.

IIMC is about to introduce "reservation" for women to make it easier for them to enter the campus which has been male dominated for long. This will come into effect from the coming academic session. Once done, IIMC will be the first among the older and bigger IIMs to tweak its admission formula.

At the moment, women comprise only 10% of the entire student population on campus. "This is extremely unhealthy because these women have to fit into a male culture. Also, the discipline and feel of the campus will improve with more women around. With 50% of the population outside the campus being female, the skewed ratio inside needed to be changed and hence this move," said a senior faculty member.

The smaller and younger IIMs like IIM Lucknow and Kozhikode have already introduced a new formula to make entry of women easier. However, the bigger and older IIMs chose to be reticent on the matter all these years. But, IIMC has finally decided to take a call and end the age old unequal gender ratio on campus. This would need an important change in the existing selection formula. While the first stage of entry remains the national level Common Admission Test (CAT) - encompassing all IIMs - the change will be brought about in the next stage, which is the crucial shortlisting stage. The existing formula at this stage considers the CAT score and the academic performance of a candidate. The academic performance is related to the candidate's class X and XII scores. From now on, the fact that one is a woman will add a certain percentage to one's score. Men will score zero in this criterion, thus unwittingly giving a leg up to women competitors.

The admissions committee of IIMC is yet to finalise the marks that will be allotted to women at this stage, but this will be done in the next three days. The new formula will then be placed before the academic and faculty council for approval. "We are tweaking the existing formula in a manner different from the other new IIMs that have already revised it for bringing about gender diversity. While they have given benefit to the women at the interview stage - the third stage of the admissions process - we will be giving them the advantage at the second (shortlisting) stage itself. This will help us create a bigger pool of women to be interviewed," the faculty member added.

The institute feels that the formula will enable the faculty to meet more women at the interview stage, thus increasing their chance of getting selected.

Admissions chairperson of IIMC, Sanjeet Singh, admitted that the process of revising the existing formula was under way. "We should be able to announce the changes within the next three to four day," he said. The institute will run the new formula for at least three years to see if the percentage of women finally making it to the classrooms goes up to 20%.

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