Wednesday, 9 January 2013

CAT 2012 results announced; technical glitch keeps aspirants waiting

Although CAT 2012 officials announced that results will be made available from 12 midnight, they were actually declared at 3 am on January 9, 2012. But due to technical glitch majority of the aspirants, who stayed awake to get the results, could log in only after 4.15 am to access their scores.

NEW DELHI: Server problem hit CAT 2012 results as soon as they were announced. The Common Admission Test (CAT) 2012 results, the entrance test for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management, were made available for the aspirants in the early hours of Wednesday, but majority of those who were trying to login failed to get access for over an hour due to technical glitch.

Although CAT 2012 officials announced that results will be made available from midnight, they were actually declared at 3 am on January 9, 2012. But due to technical glitch, the aspirants who were awake to know their scores, could login only after 4.15am.

Over 2.14 lakh aspirants registered for the test, of which about 1.91 lakh appeared for the computer based test conducted in October-November 2012. The test was conducted for over 21 days across 36 cities in the country. IIM Khozikode coordinated CAT 2012.

Apart from the IIMs, CAT scores are accepted by many premier B-schools and technical institutions for admission to their management programmes like the Faculty of Management Studies, various Indian Institutes of Technology and Management Development Institute, among others.

For the first 15 minutes, post declaration of the results, majority of the candidates failed to access their results. Their attempts to login resulted in "502 Bad Gatewa)" flashing on the screen. While CAT 2012 officials said that the high traffic at the same time could have slowed down the server, many who did managed to login failed to get the results.

Many aspirants who finally managed to login and register their numbers only to got an error message saying 'Error connecting to database. User sanjeevj__hasan already has more than 'max_user_connections active connections.'

Till around 3.30 all that the official CAT site was showing was that the results will be up online by 3am and candidates can access it by login using their registration number and email ID. CAT 2012 results can be accessed until December 31, 2013.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

CAT results on Jan 9

AHMEDABAD: The fate of 2.14 lakh MBA aspirants will be sealed on January 9, when the results for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2012 will be released. About 7,437 candidates from Ahmedabad had taken the test.

Candidates will be able to log on to the portal of Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) through the CAT website from Wednesday to retrieve their results. Candidates will be required to enter their CAT registration number and email address in order to access the site. Access to CAT 2012 results will available until 31 December 2013.

"We anticipate heavier traffic on the first day and candidates are advised to be patient and not rush to check their results. They may try again later if they find the site to be too slow," said Professor SSS Kumar, CAT-2012 convener. "Prometric employs an industry-standard, psychometrically sound approach for the scoring process," said Soumitra Roy, managing director, Prometric India. CAT 2012 was conducted successfully at 61 test centres across 36 cities over a 21-day testing window from 11 October to 6 November in 2012.

XAT was conducted in a new pattern on Sunday

Students appearing for the Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) for admissions on January 6, Sunday, saw a lot of changes in the exam pattern this year. 

The most notable change was the inclusion of General Awareness alongside the essay section in its second paper. Paper-I saw quite a few changes with the number of questions increasing from 85 to 91 and all questions carrying equal marks unlike last year when they had a mix of 1, 1.5 and 2 mark questions. The number of questions in quantitative ability and data interpretation increased from 28 to 36, verbal and logical ability had two questions less than last year at 30, and decision making remained at 25 questions. Each question was of 1 mark and negative marking for all the questions in every section was 0.25 marks, said an official from TIME, a coaching institute. 

In paper-II, general awareness was brought in this year which might have caused anxiety among the test-takers but the difficulty level in the section was similar to that of the other management entrance test, said the official. It consisted of 30 questions with around 18 static questions and 12 from current affairs. The questions ranged from the business, sports, economy, politics, trade, international bodies both at national and international level. Part B was an essay topic on 'Corruption is the root cause of economic slowdown in India.' 

No negative marking in Odisha joint entrance examination

There will be no negative marking in Odisha joint entrance examination (OJEE) this year, government authorities said. The test for admission into various undergraduate and post graduate courses in the state is scheduled on May 12.

"The government decided to do away with negative marks as students getting less than zero also got admission, the previous year. A large number of seats are still vacant," secretary technical education and training Chandra Sekhar Kumar said here on Monday. Four wrong answers fetched one negative mark in the OJEE.

Official sources said the questions will be evaluated under a percentile system. However, those leaving their OMR (optical mark recognition) answer-sheets blank will stand disqualified. Besides, the government has decided to make the application filling up process completely online.

In another related development, the government has decided to offer integrated and dual degree in engineering and management courses from the coming academic session. Students can directly take admission in courses such and BTech and MBA or BTech and MTech.

The scrutiny committee of employment and technical education department has recently decided that Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) will inspect infrastructure of colleges interested in offering dual degrees. The varsity can allow allowing such colleges to run such dual degree courses after the colleges obtain no objection certificates from the government. BPUT will develop syllabi for the integrated courses and students would be drawn through the OJEE.

OJEE Exam Date : May 12, 2013

Preparations on for CBSE exams

With the announcement of the dates for Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 and 12 exams, the regional office of CBSE, Guwahati, has started preparations for the coming exams. Moreover, from this time, the board has introduced problem solving assessment for students of Class 9 and 11.

Regional officer of CBSE (Guwahati) KK Choudhury said, "Both Class 10 and 12 exams will begin from March 1. With just two months left, preparations are in full swing to finalize the centre, issuing of admit cards, preparation of attendance sheets and appointment of external examiners. There will be 297 centres all over the northeast."

This time, approximately 1 lakh candidates both from class 10 and 12 will appear for the exams. Admit cards and attendance sheets will reach the centres by mid-February and the process of dispatching answerscripts has already started, the regional officer added.

He said, the practical exams for Class 12 will start from January 16 and will get over by February 16. The board has already appointed external examiners for conducting the practical exams in different schools as per the schedule. Unlike other years, this time 3 sets of question papers will be administered.

Last year, 86,000 candidates from 770 schools all over the northeast appeared for the exams and there were 292 centres all over the region, he added

"Apart from this, the board has introduced problem solving assessment for Class 9 and 11 for the first time. The students will be given OMR sheets and they have to answer the questions only by darkening the options given below. All the questions will be objective type. This test is contentless and there is no prescribed syllabus for the exam. The students have to study their prescribed textbooks but the questions will be application based. This has been introduced basically for testing the ability of children to solve different problems on a set of questions," he added.

Soon, study MBA and engineering in distance mode

In the not-too-distant future, you could become an engineer or earn an MBA sitting at home.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body for professional courses, will allow colleges to offer engineering and MBA via distance mode, overturning the tough stand it has maintained for years. The council had earlier stated that professional courses like engineering required intensive practical training and programmes such as an MBA ought to have several hours of classroom discussions and debates as business had several tones of grey that an aspiring manager must understand. 

The AICTE's change of heart will not only augment the number of professionals in India, but will also prove to be a game-changer as the fees will be a lot lesser than what students pay to attend college. But every candidate will have to sit for an exit or a licentiate examination, termed as the National Eligibility Test, at the end of the course before she or he is declared an engineer or the MBA or MCA degree is awarded. 

A student should have completed a degree or a diploma in the classroom mode and attained a minimum of five years of work experience before they can take up a professional course via the distance learning mode. 

"This will be a mixed mode of education—while practical training will take place face-to-face, theory can be conducted using ICT," AICTE chairman S S Mantha said. 

The decision was taken on the recommendation of a committee headed by former IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Dhande and IIT-Kanpur chairman M Anandkrishnan who studied the possibility of offering engineering and other professional courses through the distance mode. As Mantha explained, all professional courses except architecture and pharmacy can be conducted virtually. But a student or a class XII pass-out seeking his/her first diploma or degree cannot sign up for a BTech under this scheme. 

"Essentially, there will be an entrance test and an exit exam that all students signing up for a course under the distance education mode will have to take. We have to preserve the quality of students at both the stages," Mantha added. The AICTE is currently drawing up rules and the approval process for colleges wanting to offer courses though the virtual medium. Interested colleges can apply from March 1. 

Distance education:
Currently, 14 open universities and 172 other institutions offer courses in higher education via the distance mode to about 40 lakh students. Distance education courses are regulated by the Distance Education Council (DEC), a body that operates under IGNOU. 

Distance education is largely confined to general streams. Some universities like IGNOU offer technical courses like an MCA but tie-up with colleges so that students can use their laboratories for practical training. 

There was a tripartite committee comprising the UGC, DEC and AICTE which used to examine applications from institutes interested in offering courses via distance education, but the committee was almost defunct as the AICTE maintained that professional courses could not be imparted virtually.

2 degrees at a time may soon be a reality

Pursuing two degrees simultaneously may become a reality in near future. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is mulling introducing a system under which students enrolled in a regular degree course can pursue an additional degree simultaneously under open or distance education mode or part-time mode from the same or different university.

To look upon the pros and cons, UGC had constituted an expert committee under Prof Furqan Qamar, vice-chancellor, Central University of Himachal Pradesh to look into the feasibility of such a course. The committee however has recommended that 'a student enrolled in a degree programme under regular mode may be allowed to pursue a maximum of one additional degree programme simultaneously under open, distance mode from the same or a different university'. However, two degree programmes under regular mode may not be allowed simultaneously as it may create logistic, administrative and academic problems. The panel has also suggested that similar rule should apply if a student doing a regular course wanted to do a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or PG diploma programme as an additional course simultaneously either in regular or open and distance mode in the same university or from other institutions. The committee however suggested that the views of the vice-chancellors of all universities in the country should be taken before taking a final decision on implementation of dual degree in the country. Talking to TOI, former vice-chancellor of Lucknow University and member of the expert committee (on pursuing more than one degree simultaneously), Prof Manoj Kumar Mishra said, "The dual degree programmes is the need of the hour. It is very common in western countries and in India, IITs already offer such dual degree programmes. To implement it, universities will have to make statutory provisions. Therefore, we have sought opinions of the V-Cs across the country."

When asked whether the dual degree programme will be offered at undergraduate or PG level, Prof Mishra said, "It can be anything. It can be UG with a PG like integrated BSc with MSc or two PGs or two UGs together, though there are complexities in its implementation." But allowing two degrees in regular mode will not be possible due to academic and administrative problems.

Experts maintain that students at present are pursuing two degrees, one through regular mode and another through distance learning mode in a clandestine manner. "Rather than keeping the matter in the dark, dual degree programme will be allowed legally," said a member of the committee.The panel also discussed the issue of awarding a joint degree by universities within India and decided that nothing prohibit universities to permit their students to take and complete a part of their programme of studies from any other recognised universities.

"The joint degree programmes are not only permissible by the UGC, but also needs to be encouraged. Interested universities may make necessary enabling ordinances specifying details and procedures in this regard and sign Memorandum of Understanding to execute the awarding of joint degrees," the panel recommended.