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21:31 PM July 16, 2006

Bangalore: The process for admissions to the 2007-08 batch of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) began on Sunday, with the premier institutes issuing the notification for the Common Entrance Test (CAT), to be held on November 19. Setting in motion the process, the IIMs said issue of CAT bulletins through UTI bank and post offices would begin Monday and end on August 17. However, the bulletins would be issued by IIMs and sold via internet till August 21. The last date for receipt of completed CAT applications by IIMs would be September 9. The CAT scorecard would be mailed to the candidates after January 2, 2007. IIM, Bangalore, would conduct the CAT for the next three years. For the first time, the IIMs have introduced an eligibility criterion of 50 per cent marks in Bachelor's degree for the general category and 45 per cent for SC/ST category and those with disability. This move was apparently to contain the number of applicants as over 1,70,000 students sat for the test last year for the about 1,300 seats available. The CAT bulletins were for the first time made available online on e-payment of the fees. The test, considered one of the toughest entrance exams for B-schools across the world, was a pre-requisite for admissions to post graduate programmes in management and fellow programme in management in the IIMs. Besides, the CAT score was accepted as the benchmark in several other reputed institutions. The IIMs have decided to hold a separate CAT for OBCs in the event of the Centre implementing 27 per cent reservation for the category in higher educational institutions from next academic year.