Sunday, February 28, 2010

IIM site hangs, lakhs of students clueless about results

After the computer servers crashed on the first online common admission test (CAT) for B-schools, the results fared no better with a glitch-ridden system causing untold agony to lakhs of students. For more than three hours on Sunday, students couldn't see their results on, which couldn't take the excess load. The problem was fixed only after 6pm.The candidates were informed about the blocking of scorecards at 3.45pm through a terse web message: "We are experiencing unusually heavy load on scorecard access server. We'll reopen the server after three hours." Not surprisingly, perhaps, the convener of the CAT committee, Satish Deodhar, could not be contacted all through Sunday.

Meanwhile, only IIM-Ahmedabad and IIM-Shillong declared the list of shortlisted candidates on Sunday. The other six IIMs are expected to release their list of selected candidates over the next two days. The CAT scores of candidates are used for admission to eight IIMs and around 120 B-schools in the country.After the first-ever online CAT -- in November 2009 -- turned into a fiasco due to a virus attack, the wait for its results seemed almost endless for the candidates. The results were earlier scheduled to be declared on January 22.
But then the second phase of CAT exam had to be conducted on January 30 and 31 for students who faced problems appearing in the first phase.

The results, which were postponed to February 15, were further deferred till Sunday. Nearly 2.4 lakh students had appeared for CAT 2009 of which almost 7,000 of them were left in the lurch due to failure of the system at various centres across the country. The unavailability of the scorecards on Sunday only added to the anxiety of the candidates.Arindam Lahiri, academic director, Career Launcher, said, "The system seems jinxed. It happens every year: the server becomes slow when the results are declared as every one tries to access it at the same time." He added,"But it had to be shut this time probably because it was a Sunday and the rush was too heavy."

Delhi boy Vivek Gupta was one of the students who scored a 100 percentile in CAT 2009. Gupta, an electronics engineer from IIT Roorkee, worked in an MNC after graduating in 2008 but left the job to prepare for CAT. "I started studying for CAT only three or four months before the exam. I think my background at IIT helped me crack CAT," said Gupta (24) from Pitampura. He further said, "I've got a call for an interview from IIM Ahmedabad. I would love to study there."

In Bangalore, Sunday's glitch upped tension levels among students. Sumana S, a private firm employee, couldn't stop weeping after trying for hours to access her result. "I worked hard for CAT. This is my third attempt and I really want to make it. I've been trying to access my CAT score for three hours now. My register number doesn't feature in either IIM-Ahmedabad or Shillong. I am getting worried," she said.

Ahmed (name changed), a final year engineering student, said he learnt about the results in the morning but got to see them only in the evening. "When I logged on, the website was flashing that the results were declared. When I clicked on it, I got a dead page. I kept trying. However, in between, some people could access the results but for a short time. There was an announcement from IIMs that the results will be declared at 3pm, then it got postponed to 6.45pm. But we got the results before that," he explained.Arjun Mohan, an engineer who is into sales and consulting, is one of the shortlisted candidates for IIM-A. "I couldn't access my score but I have been shortlisted for IIM-A. I learnt about the results around 11am and tried for a good two hours. This is my second attempt and I was keen on IIM-A and IIM-B," he said.
By the end of a wracking Sunday, all the candidates managed to get their results, much to their relief.