Mumbai: There has been an 11% drop in the number of applicants for the state's common entrance test (CET) for MBA compared to last year, even as the national-level B-school entrance tests saw more aspirants.
The state CET Cell recorded 1.23 lakh registrations as the application process for MAH-MBA/MMS-CET 2023 came to a close on March 6. Last year, the number of applicants stood at 1.37 lakh, though the actual number of students who took the test was 1.04 lakh.
However, the CET Cell on Thursday reopened the registration window till March 11, allowing more candidates to sign up for the test.
By comparison, the demand for Common Aptitude Test (CAT) this year saw an uptick of 11%, as the number of registrations for the national-level management entrance exam went up to 2.56 lakh. Similarly, there was a sharp 25% rise in the number of aspirants signing up for Xavier's Aptitude Test (XAT) over the previous year.
As many as 85% of seats in management colleges affiliated with Maharashtra's public universities are filled through the state CET, while the remaining are allotted on the basis of national entrance tests.
According to city B-schools, the drop in the number of applicants doesn't necessarily imply any decline in demand for MBA programme. Rather, it reflects a 'course correction' as the number of CET had increased beyond the usual level last year due to a delay in conducting the test.
"Last year, the state's admission process was delayed by several months due to Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, many of the aspirants who couldn't go through the national-level tests must have appeared for the CET as well. This was a short-term impact, which would be corrected by next year. This year, there was a split in applications as students had many options available to them, including foreign universities, said Dr Srinivasan Iyengar, Director, Jamnalal Baja Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS).
Ramesh Mishra, Assistant Director, Marketing (Full-time Programmes), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), also said that MBA programme is thriving. "Both CAT and XAT had more takers this year. Last year, students got ample chance to apply for the state CET as the test was conducted late. This year, the exam is being conducted as per routine. Hence, the numbers have dropped down," he said.
However, some institutes believe that aspirants are increasingly preferring the post-graduate diploma in management (PGDM) programmes over MBA. "The PGDM programme is more updated compared to MBA and offers a more industry-oriented curriculum," said Dr. Shuchi Gautam, in charge Director, Thakur Global Business School.
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