In India, admissions to the prestigious Management institutes such as IIMs are accepted through a common entrance test called CAT. Every year, lakhs of students participateÂ in the examinations for the few thousands seats.Â The test is thereforeÂ fiercely contested.
Authorities haveÂ now proposed that from next year onwards, CAT examinations will be made online like the GMAT and GRE.
While the development is considered a natural progression of technology, in view of the competition involved, there is a serious concern that the CAT processÂ will be vulnerable toÂ malpractices of various kinds.
In the past, the CET examination results in Bangalore have witnessed result manipulation by hacking and there has been alleged question paper leaks in CAT examination in the previous years.
It is therefore a reasonable risk perception that the online examination for CAT will be a target for manipulators of various kinds.
One possibility is that the online CAT question bank can be hacked. The other possibility is that the scoring mechanism may be tampered with. Additionally political and financial influence may corrupt the insiders into committing frauds.
It is therefore necessary for CAT administrators to build a security system which can withstnd every possible security risk.
As per the sketchy reports available, there will be a few versions of the test with similar difficulty levels and tests would be conducted in batches by a private concern. No other details are now available.
It is necessary for the CAT administrators to not only set up the necessary security systems but also provide confidence to the public by being transparent about the security procedures.
For example p would like to know what security audits would be conducted and at what intervals and by whom to ensure integrity of the examinations.
We hope CAT administrators make appropriate disclosures to ensure that public will be confident that merit and not money or political influence canÂ get the desired CAT scores .