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Reservations at IIMs
April 11 2024

Like every other college in India, there are reservations at IIMs also for the underprivileged section of the society. This is done looking forward to people who are talented but do not have the resources to complete their education. With the benefit of the reservation policy, a lesser percentile candidate can also admit in the most prestigious B schools of India.

The reservation policy followed by IIMs is given below:

  1. 15% seats at the IIMs are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC), 7.5% seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST), and 27% seats are reserved for Other Backward Classes belonging to 'non-creamy' layer (NC-OBC).
  2. Only those categories mentioned in the Central Government List on the last day of CAT registration are considered for reservation.
  3. 3 percent of the seats are reserved for Persons with Disability (PWD).
  4. The three categories of disability which are considered for reservation are - low vision blindness, hearing impairment, and locomotor disability or cerebral palsy. Candidates suffering from not less than 40% of these disabilities will be considered for reservation.



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  • Reservation Policy in CAT: Candidates seeking reservations are required to upload their category or disability certificates during CAT registration.
  • Drawback of Reservation Policy: Despite its intentions, the reservation policy has drawbacks.
  • Impact on Deserving General Category Students: Many deserving students from the general category may not get admission to desired colleges due to reservation quotas.
  • Compromises in Admissions: Some deserving candidates end up compromising with whatever college they can get into due to reservation policies.
  • Impact on Selection Process: The selection process for IIMs is rigorous, but reservations may lead to less deserving candidates getting through.
  • Quality of Batch Declines: This can lead to a decline in the quality of the student batch as less deserving candidates enter the colleges.
  • Impact on Class Environment: The decorum of classes may suffer as reserved category students struggle to keep up with the rest of the class.
  • Loss of Interest Among Teachers: Teachers may lose interest in teaching due to ambiguity in student quality caused by reservations.

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These institutes have a number of investors who are concerned about the quality of students which receives it blowback because of the reservations. If the quality starts falling rapidly the investors are also not interested in investing their money in these institutes. So, to get the support of investors and their constant investments the IIMs have to maintain the quality of their students. Also, if the quality degrades then the reputation of the institute receives a setback. Since these Institute have been marked and one of the best institutes of the country they are bound to maintain their reputation. For this, a check has to be kept on the reservation policy of the institute.


  • Agreement Between IIMs and Government: The board members of IIMs and the government should reach an agreement that benefits both the underprivileged sections of society and maintains the quality of students in IIMs.
  • Maintaining Quality Standards: Admission to IIMs should not be easy for anyone, as it could lead to a decline in the quality of students and workforce.
  • Development of Efficient Reservation System: An efficient reservation system should be developed to address these issues without compromising the dignity and reputation of the institute.
  • Consideration of Stakeholder Sentiments: The reservation system should take into account the sentiments of all stakeholders involved in the institute, including students, faculty, investors, and the government.
  • Upholding Institute's Dignity: It's crucial to maintain the dignity and reputation that the institute has earned over the years while implementing any changes to the reservation system.


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Rahul Singh

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