Should the Common Admission Test (CAT), be conducted in the English language alone. Or CAT exam should be conducted also in Hindi and other regional languages mentioned in Schedule VIII of the Constitution?
CAT score is the basis for admission to top business schools including the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
Prof Dheeraj Sharma, the director of IIM – Rohtak is raising the issue. He has raised his concern with IIM Indore, the Coordinator of CAT 2020 exam. Moreover, he suggests, conducting the exam in Indian languages as well. Currently, students can write CAT only in English language.
A letter to IIM Indore
A person aware of the development spoke on condition of anonymity that Prof Sharma has written a letter to IIM Indore Director, Prof Himanshu Rai. He mentions that one of the aims of the National Education Policy is to promote learning in regional and local languages.
CAT exam Languages
He wrote that IIMs could take a lead by allowing candidates to pursue programmes in any regional language of their choice. However, the language should be present in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution. Moreover, he urged Rai to take up the issue. He asked him to take the issue to the core committee that oversees the conduct of the test.
English should not be a reason
Sharma confirmed that he wrote to IIM Indore. He suggested that a lack of proficiency in English should not be a reason for a student to not pursue higher education in management. Since it is also one of the key areas of the NEP, the IIM Indore should look into it, he said.
Moreover, the weightage given to the CAT exam marks differs from IIM to IIM. Some IIMs give up to 60 – 70 % weightage to the marks. Also, some IIMs attach much less weight to marks. Over 20,000 students take CAT every year.
Higher education in Indian regional languages
The letter comes at a time when the Union education ministry looks at ways to promote higher education in Indian regional languages. Also, education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has emphasised the use of regional languages in higher education.
Languages in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution
Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Maithili, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu are the languages present in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution