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Dear and Respected Prime Minister/ HRD Minister/ AICTE Chairman/ Deans of MBA Institutes/ Other Luminaries Associated with Education

This letter should have been written YESTERDAY, but even if it is written now, I hope there will be some respite provided to future students and parents in due course of time, after you go through this letter.

I am associated with coaching/ teaching for CAT and other MBA Entrance Exams since 1999; and I did my PGDM from XLRI Jamshedpur in 1993.

We were lucky enough that after paying a total of Rs. 50,000/- (rupees fifty thousand only) including tuition and hostel/ mess/ misc fees - we could expect a salary of approx Rs. 1 lac per annum after completing our PGDM Course. Today the fee for the same course (after getting admission through a very very tough competition) is approx Rs. 25 lacs and a fresher can expect a salary of Rs. 8-10 lacs per annum only.

The market dynamics have changed and so has the pressure on parents and wards. But the return on investment is going downhill since long and there is an uneasy hike in fees every year, not commensurate with the rise in salaries.

Even though most b-schools announce that they are not placement agencies, but they also know that MBA is a job-oriented course, and shout aloud regarding placement statistics on their web-sites.

There was an announcement in 2003/2004 by the then government that there would be only 4 MBA Entrance exams and students/ institutes would have to choose from these for admission to their courses; also that the application to individual institutes would be made AFTER the results of the entrance test were declared so that students do not waste time and money in applying for institutes whose admission cut-offs were higher than the students scores in the relevant entrance exam. Unfortunately, the government changed and the proposal never saw the light of day.

Cut to 2017-18

A student who prepares very hard for CAT and other entrance exams and is getting consistently good marks in mock-tests and hopes to be in the top 10 percent of all appearing candidates - pays Rs. 50,000 for coaching and books and another, Rs. 50,000 for applications to 15-20 b-schools, as she is not knowing which b-school she will get through finally. The application fee of Rs. 50,000 to 20 institutes is a sheer waste, as finally she will join any one institute only. After spending Rs. 1 lac BEFORE even getting scores of exams for which she has appeared - if she is lucky enough to convert her 5th preference college (say college X) then she has to pay anywhere between Rs. 5-8 lacs (to college X) within March/ April and wait for results of her more preferred college (usually IIM's).

Suppose, she now converts her first preferred college (say college Y) in April/ May and withdraws from college X, she will get her refund of fee from college X only in June-Aug, and has to pay another Rs. 8-10 lacs to college Y immediately.

What it means is that after competing with 2 lac candidates, a candidate who is in top 1% of the examinees has to have Rs. 20 lacs ready within a month or two to secure her seat in her preferred b-school. HOW MANY OF US ARE CAPABLE OF DOING THIS FOR OUR CHILDREN? It is very difficult even for children of affluent families, leave alone the middle-class, who are mostly salaried and honest tax-payers.

Over the last decade or so, I have seen many hard-working students not getting into a good b-school as they could not afford it; or even if they could, this whole system of paying full one year fee upfront and refund only in june-aug has put them in jeopardy. And I talk on behalf of very good students here, who unfortunately have the capability to get into a good b-school, but not the means.

In view of the above, I would request you to somehow implement or at least have as guideline, the following

1. All entrance exams to b-schools to be over by 30 Nov, of previous year (for 2019 admission - 30 Nov 2018)

2. Only few restricted entrance exams for all institutes in India

3. Results of entrance exams to be announced by 31 Dec of year previous to year of admission

4. Application to MBA courses by 15 Jan of year of admission, AFTER getting the results of admission exams

5. GDPIWAT to be conducted by institutes within 15 Feb of admission year in at least 4 cities in India

6. Final list of candidates to be declared by 15 March of year of admission

7. Confirmation of admission from candidates side within 31 March of year of admission by paying a fee not exceeding Rs. 50,000/-

8. Subsequent lists to be declared within 15 days of earlier lists depending on acceptance by candidates and vacancies

9. Final payment of first year fee by candidates within 31 May of admission year

10. Refund of fees for candidates who withdraw their candidature within 10 days of intimation

11. Classes to start not later than 1 July

Although my suggestion would look idealistic at first glance, but I am sure it is a logical next step in MBA Admissions just like in IIT and NEET.

This would save at least 25-50k rupees for at least 1-1.5 lakh candidates/ parents in a year which they waste on unnecessary applications and tests.

I request your interference and initiative towards this end to build a stronger India and also to give hope to thousands of students who are not appearing for MBA exams for its faulty system.

Those students and parents who have undergone this trial are requested to forward and share this post so that the gravity of the situation can be understood, and changes effected in the MBA Entrance process in our country, by those who can make these changes

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,

Moheet Gupta
Kolkata 09830231975

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