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The CAT and IIM Equation

Older IIMs' fees hike is the sharpest


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We are in the middle of CAT season, where 2.1 lakh candidates are taking the test between October 11 and November 6 for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management. The number of applicants is higher than that of the past two years—2.04 lakh in 2010, and 2.05 lakh in 2011—but is less than that of 2007 (2.3 lakh).

In 2007, there were seven IIMs, with a total of about 1,400 seats, while now there are 13 IIMs, with about 3,000 seats. But fees for a post-graduate course have risen threefold between 2007 and 2012. Those who got admitted in 2007 paid around Rs 5 lakh, while those who will get admitted in 2013 will pay between Rs 13.5 lakh and Rs 15.5 lakh. It is in the older IIMs that this hike is the sharpest.

The increase is due to the implementation of 27 percent reservation, which saw seats increase by 54 percent. Higher fees have resulted from infrastructure costs, and a waiver granted to financially weak students (those not admitted under reservation).