CAT 2009 got off to a disastrous start and despite huge efforts by the Prometric and its partners. The exam did not finish on schedule and is continuing to cause anxiety to students, parents, IIMs and even to the HRD ministry. However, what was has been most interesting is the clamor we have seen from the players not involved.
1. Media: Of course media had a field day. TRPs were up, confusion reigned and they kept adding fuel to fire. Well you could argue that It is their business to do so, even if media would say that they do this only in public interest (I’ll be damned if any of the coverage was inspired by concern for these students)
2. Other Online Testing Providers: Sore losers and vultures. You could almost see them laughing secretly and were happy to see Prometric fail. Are now clamoring that if they had been given a change they would have done a better job. Please guys, you were part of a bidding process, if you can do a better job, you should have done a better job at that time. (I can bet my shirt that Prometric and its Indian partner would do a much better job next time, what are these vultures betting?)
3. Coaching Institutes: Most vocal (after media). Want current exam to be scrapped, return to pen and paper format for this year (So they can charge students again for preparation). Act like they are acting in students' interest while a large silent majority was actually able to complete the test.
4. Other Xenophobes - Want contract to be given to an Indian company (yes, we have xenophobes in India too). These are racists, casteists, fascists in new avatar. There is no talk of merit.
Which brings me back to the organizers of the CAT exam. Poor show guys! You need to get your act together. You should make sure that every student who suffered is given another chance, and that this is not repeated the following year.