First, let us have the facts, which have as ever been embellished by TOI (Someone's idea of earning a salary is based on offending all groups of people. To begin with, the heading is 'graceless').
All the six new IIMs and the ones at Lucknow and Kozhikode feel it`s time to rebalance the gender scales in office spaces. So while IIM-Rohtak will give 20 marks to each girl and another 20 to a non-engineer, IIM-Raipur will add 30 marks to the overall scores of each girl-non-engineer. IIM-Lucknow has decided to grant five marks to each girl and two to non-engineers.
Across the board, almost all IIMs have decided to give a boost to girls and non-engineering candidates.
What does this imply?
Obviously, this makes things easier for girls and non-engineers. The bar for quant cut-off at least will now be much lower. I would argue that a 98th percentile overall will still leave you in with a shout if one is a girl, non-engineer.
The implication for engineers is more interesting. Not only will engineers have to focus more on verbal ability, they will have to stress on quant as well as the pool of seats available to engineers would have now shrunk again. So, the engineers will have to get more than 99.3 percentile in quant to have a shot at the IIMs.
What should one focus on?
Nothing much changes. Engineers, please do not assume that VA alone will matter. You will effectively be competing with the world on VA and with fellow engineers for Quants. Given that the engineering entry just got tougher, both need to be good. As we have mentioned in an earlier post, one should focus more on Critical Reasoning questions now.
What else has changed?
Almost all the IIMs are veering towards having a "writing" section in the second round. Again, perhaps part of the overall convergence that Naveenan had mentioned. So, keep this in mind for the post-CAT preparation phase.
Just another word of caution, do not get caught up in the inevitable diversity vs. merit debate that will spring up all around you. That is an important debate, no doubt. But, whether you are an engineer or not, scoring well on that debate gives you pish-tosh in CAT. Accepting some frameworks and chugging along is an absolute necessity to crack things in India/anywhere. So, have an academic interest in this debate, but do not get completely consumed by it, at least until CAT.
That said, those of us who have finished our MBA (including yours truly) can continue to pontificate and so, will be discussing this issue in future posts.