New Delhi: The online entrance exam for the five-year integrated MBA programme offered by Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Rohtak has kicked up a row over allegations of mass cheating.
The Integrated Programme in Management Aptitude Test (IPMAT), which oversees admissions to IIM-Rohtak’s MBA course for Class 12 passouts, was held Monday.
While admissions for the PG MBA course, the most coveted offering of the IIMs, are held through the Common Admission Test (CAT), the IPMAT is organised by the two individual branches that offer the programme — Rohtak and Indore.
Usually held at designated centres, managed by an external agency, IPMAT could be taken from home this year in light of Covid-19-related restrictions.
Parents and teachers of students who took the online entrance test Monday have complained that it was “compromised” as many examinees “cheated”.
They said IIM-Rohtak turned the exam into a “farce” by conducting it in an open-source, open-book format through Google Forms, instead of adopting a proctored approach that disallows cheating.
Proctored exams are timed tests where proctoring software monitors the desktop. The examinee is monitored through webcam video and audio as he/she writes the exam. He/she is asked to download the software on their desktops/laptops by the exam-conducting agency in advance.
Parents and teachers have claimed that students were discussing answers with each other on social media throughout the duration of the exam. They have also alleged that students approached family members for help. It was a 45-minute exam, but parents complained that the deadline was not enforced.
Parents and teachers have so far only discussed their concerns on Facebook and WhatsApp, and are yet to take up the matter officially with IIM-Rohtak.
ThePrint has sent an email to IIM-Rohtak’s media division for a comment on the allegations. This report will be updated once a response is received.
‘Not expected of IIM’
Sujit Bhattacharya whose daughter wrote the exam this year, said he is disappointed with IIM.
“This was not expected of an institute like IIM, which has such a great reputation in the country. They completely made a joke of the entrance exam… instead of organising a proctored exam, they held the exams over Google Forms, making it very convenient for students to cheat,” he added.
Bhattacharya, who is also associated with entrance exam coaching, said students were discussing answers with each other on social media apps while writing the exam. “I received messages about the answers being discussed on various Telegram groups… Hence, I made sure that it does not happen in the Telegram group of my coaching centre. But students were cheating on other groups, they were also taking help from their family members to cheat.”
Another parent echoed this concern, saying his daughter’s friends had told her they took help from family members.
“I feel very bad for her and the system,” he added. “I don’t understand why the institute wanted to conduct an exam like this when all other institutes have postponed their tests.”
Shutapa Chakraborty, a teacher at a coaching centre, said she hopes IIM takes note of the complaints. “If this is the standard of exam for an institute like IIM, what can we expect from other institutes?” she added.
The IIM-Rohtak IPMAT was held for admission to 100 seats, for which over 12,000 students applied.