Entrance Exams

Entrance Exams

TISSNET: Held on January 4

PUBLISH DATE 7th November 2019

This has become a cause for concern as several students across the country have already begun preparing for the exam. The national entrance test will be held on January 4 in centres across the country.

WITH BARELY two months to go, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on Tuesday announced changes in the paper pattern of the National Entrance Test (TISSNET), and introduced a new exam, Management Aptitude Test (TISS-MAT), for students opting for masters in human resource management and labour relations (HRM & LR) and in organisation development, change and leadership (ODCL).

This has become a cause for concern as several students across the country have already begun preparing for the exam. The national entrance test will be held on January 4 in centres across the country.

The notification came two weeks after applications for TISSNET had already begun. On Wednesday, TISS Students’ Union condemned the changes saying they were made without any student representation and were an attack on the “affirmative action policy” and “the representative nature of the classroom”. The union has demanded that the changes should be revoked.

Earlier, TISS conducted a single entrance test for admissions to all courses. The TISSNET marks comprised 40 per cent weightage in a candidate’s selection, but the exam will now function only as a filtration process following which the selection will depend entirely on marks obtained in essay writing and personal interviews.

Indore resident Harshit Singh, who was planning to opt for HRM & LR and development studies courses, said the decision felt like an “experiment”.

“For TISSNET, general knowledge, English and mathematics were main subjects, but for TISS-MAT, economy and HR-related topics will need to be studied too; this is terrifying. The entrance test was already tough for a BCom student like me. Now the whole point of an entrance test is only to qualify for another test,” he said. The decision of the administration will affect students from remote areas, who are unable to express themselves clearly, said Shwetank Vats from Gorakhpur, who has applied for masters in criminology and justice, rural development and public health. “There are no fixed parameters for marking essays whereas one cannot predict what will happen during interviews. I had filled the application keeping in mind last year’s rules,” he said.

“The decision was arbitrarily taken without involving any student representation. We demand the administration to revoke these changes for TISSNET 2020. Through this step, affirmative action will be under attack. We demand answers as to why we were not consulted,” said Bhatta Ram, president, TISS Mumbai Students’ Union. The statement released by the students’ union said the introduction of TISS-MAT will make it harder for students without prior experience of management to qualify for the examination, even though the degree awarded was an MA and not an MBA.

The letter added that with only 60 days left for the exam, coaching institutes across the country will try to commercialise this, leading to backdoor entries of affluent students. The exam is also being seen as an imitation of the business school model, hampering the representative nature of the classroom. Despite repeated attempts, TISS Mumbai director Shalini Bharat could not be reached for a comment.