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Global business? World level corporate leadership? Lingua franca of international business? Fair enough. Only, a much higher percentage of IIT grads go abroad, do Masters and PhDs in foreign Universities, work internationally but still you can take IIT JEE in Bangla, Oriya, Kannada or Malayalee – without ever attempting to answer even Physics and Mathematics in English. And CAT, with most of IIM grads working in India tests the admission aspirants in English.

Lets take another defence. IIM grads need to be top scorers in an English test so that they can access and understand the best global practices, benefit from cutting edge ideas internationally to lead their companies. Fair enough. Major hole – the success of IIT grads globally shows that one doesn’t need to be a top scorer in English to do any of that. Another funny thing, this need to be a top scorer in English doesn’t stand for UPSC IAS exam – this when a bureaucrat works in much more complex situations with a much higher variability and would benefit much more from understanding the best global ideas.

So, we have both the counter-examples. a) A huge group of IIT grads who never top-scored in English and still do well in global corporations, and, b) a huge group of bureaucrats who handle much more complex problems in a more variable environment than a corporate leader but are never required to top-score in an English test.

Something seems amiss. Either no one thought it through – highly unlikely though not impossible. Or, people did think it through – to answer this, let’s imagine what happens if CAT stops testing for English. Not hard to answer – small town, mofussil India will crowd up the IIMs, as they do the IITs and IAS – the predominance of DU, Bombay University, Presidency Kolkata – elite universities will break.

Is it deliberate? Malicious? A walled garden for elites? Serious statements those.

But not tough to see that a) top-scoring in an English test is neither required for achieving global corporate leadership, nor learning global best practices to solve complex problems, and, b) certain predominance structures will break if CAT stops testing English.



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