In 2008, around 276,000 aspirants appeared for CAT. This fell to 240,000 in 2009, further coming down to 206,000 in 2010.
IIMs say they expect to see a growth this year in the number of aspirants. The third computer-based edition of the yearly test, conducted by the IIMs through partner Prometric, is expected is to witness a 10 per cent rise in applications this year.
Expectations of such a rise in applications may also be due to an almost glitch-free CAT last year, after a bumpy start in 2009, when IIMs and Prometric had to conduct the CAT in two phases, after thousands of candidates suffered technical glitches at several centres. Prometric also discontinued its partnership with NIIT after the first stint and moved on to a tie-up with MeritTrac and Everonn.
In terms of expansion, the CAT Committee is looking to create a buffer of 10-15 per cent in terms of test centres this year.
According to Moorthy, a few more centres may be set up, depending on the requirement. Moreover, apart from the 180-odd, non-IIM B-schools being part of CAT, IIMs may be adding a few more.