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Statement condemning the unjust introduction of the TISS-MAT exam
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Educate!!! Agitate!!! Organize!!!

AMBEDKARITE STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (ASA)-
TATA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES (TISS), MUMBAI

Statement condemning the unjust introduction of the TISS-MAT exam for Management school courses and the unfair proportional weightage given to the TISS-NET exams in general

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As the application window for the academic year 2020-2022 is out open, it is a very shocking fact to notice that the TISS Administration has implemented an unfair proportional weightage in the general TISS-National Eligibility Test (NET) and an additional unjust act of introducing the TISS-Management Aptitude Test (MAT) for the students who wish to pursue their Post-Graduation Management courses such as ODCL and HRM.

With regard to the TISS-NET exam, the introduction of 35% cut-off for the General Awareness section is highly unjust and uncalled for as it will be difficult for the students from marginalized sections and vernacular backgrounds to clear the exam. This is a clear reflection of the Brahminical nature of the TISS Administration which wants to keep the students from marginalized sections at bay from not accessing Education in a well-reputed institution like TISS.

Moreover, with regard to the admission for the Management courses, the TISS Administration has now introduced another additional barrier in the name of TISS-MAT. The TISS-MAT exam comprises of three components:

1. Comprehension
2. Data Interpretation
3. Business Awareness

These three components do reflect the intention of the TISS Administration to narrow down the intake of students, especially from non-management courses and prefer those from Management backgrounds. Besides, the ‘Preparation level’ or the ‘Difficulty level’ for this TISS MAT exam is of the ‘Graduate Level’, as stated by the TISS Admission website. This model of setting an entrance exam for the Management courses such as HRM and ODCL is completely absurd without any logic and is highly Brahminical in nature, whereas the difficulty level of the TISS-NET exam is of class 10.

This means that, if a student from a marginalized section aspiring to pursue a course among the Management courses works hard to clear the TISS-NET, he/she/they will be only highly disappointed to realize that the TISS-MAT exam is something which does not give them the equal and equitable opportunity to pursue further into the second stage process of the Admission, which is the TISS-MAT. Besides, having one of the components of the TISS-MAT which is ‘Business Awareness’ clearly implies that either the aspirant must have an earlier degree in a management course or should have taken up any sort of entrance coaching for management exams prior to their admission. This is highly a casteist and classist attitude of the TISS Administration to ensure that only students from privileged locations get pass these highly Brahminical barriers to pursue these Management courses.

In this light, we the Ambedkarite Student Association (ASA) TISS-Mumbai strongly condemn this unjust, unfair and unethical introduction of the TISS-MAT exam and the unfair sectional weightage introduced in the TISS-NET exam so arbitrarily and we strongly demand to revoke the same. The TISS-NET exam was common for all before and now there is this partiality of some courses over others. This is a subtle way of keeping the marginalized students away from accessing the same curriculum via the introduction of this exam. The cutoffs are changing due to the increase in application and also the “difficulty level” of the TISS-MAT.

Now it is understandable that the group discussion is an added measure for HRM and ODCL courses. But this new step of introducing the TISS-MAT exam with all the negative marking with 30% weight is really going to hamper the inflow of students from marginalized communities towards TISS. The TISS-NET in itself is not accessible and affordable to many students. Its difficulty level is already too much for students from rural and vernacular backgrounds. The introduction of the TISS-MAT exam shuts the access to courses like ODCL and HRM to the marginalized. Moreover, this decision was not conveyed to the Students Union. The academic council meeting happened on the 18th of October 2019 and even then, the academic council didn’t put up this issue. We once again strongly condemn this Brahminical act of the TISS Administration to systematically restrict the inflow of students from Bahujan Communities.

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[Via Chaittanya Damodar]

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