…experts have raised two very basic questions. One, why full-scale trial runs of the exams were not conducted in every test centre; two, the reason of technical glitch put forward by Prometric — that server crashed due to virus attack — is unacceptable. A company getting 2 billion Rs for conduction of the exams should be professionally competent to anticipate such a virus attack…
With technical glitches still haunting on day four, the CAT online exams is a failure beyond doubt, a fact already admitted by IIMs. Though there are many a question to be answered, but the point that stares us in our face is that a country, which is ambitious of becoming an IT superpower, has undergone this experience. Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who has ordered a probe in server crash, is right that IIMs are autonomous body and government can do little in the matter. But is the credibility of as prestigious exams as CAT merely responsibility of IIMs? Isn’t it obligatory on the central government that it takes care of students’ fears and anxieties about their career? Well, experts have raised two very basic questions about the failure. One, why full-scale trial runs of the exams were not conducted in every test centre; two, the reason of technical glitch put forward by Prometric — that server crashed due to virus attack — is unacceptable. They believe that a company that got 2 billion rupees for conduction of the exams should be professionally competent to anticipate such a virus attack and be ready with precautions to prevent it. Both the points are very serious and put CAT coordinating committee and Prometric in dock.
What’s ironical is that coordinating committee, which says its job is just to come up with the test and deems technical glitches as a failure of delivery part, that is to say, of Prometric, simultaneously defends the American company saying that it’s the world’s leading test development and testing agency. The committee is absolutely in wrong in taking contradictory positions. It cannot wash its hands off the responsibility only blaming the delivery and then talking about the standing of the firm that delivered. On the contrary, Prometric has been under scanner in the past. Many believe that it was not the best choice for the high-profile exams of this nature. That IIMs really have in mind the point that future lies in computerized exams doesn’t cut ice taking all this in account. The problem is not limited to successful conduction of exams alone or to those who couldn’t take exams and were subsequently allotted new dates, but to those also who submitted their papers with success. These students doubt if their answers have been successfully registered. Committee argues that it did enough to allay such apprehensions by conducting demo tests on web and giving out a practical guide. But with credibility of Prometric, online test and the committee already under question, such steps could only be termed as those of inadequate efficacy.
Despite an enquiry by the government into the failure, we’ve not heard anyone from the coordinating committee questioning Prometric. It’s enough pointer to committee’s having equal part in the guilt with the company.