A committee drawn up to reform the JEE Advanced test – the final round of examination for admitting students to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) – has suggested conducting the test through mobile phones. The suggestion was made by officials while they were deliberating on ways to take the Advanced test online.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the suggestion was tabled at a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs. The board is responsible for admission processes at IITs and looks at things like setting the question paper, evaluation of answer sheets and preparation of the merit list. The proposal will now be sent to the IIT council, the highest decision-making body of the IITs, for further deliberation.
Students seeking admission to the premier engineering colleges are first screened through the JEE Mains test and then examined on the basis of the Advanced test. Of the over 1.3 million who take the Mains test, around two lakh qualify for the next round of examination.
The IITs have already introduced the option of taking the Mains test online. However, currently, less than ten percent students take the exam digitally. In a bid to push the digital option and to introduce it for the Advanced test, officials have now suggested that the second test be conducted through mobile phones. This is because mobile phones have higher penetration in rural areas than computers.
A senior official told Hindustan Times that a suggestion to form a panel for development and testing of the online platform for the Advanced test was also floated by the members of the committee. “There are many issues that have to be looked into before implementing it,” the official, who is a member of the committee, told the paper.
The issues with online examination identified include lack of computer awareness, especially among examinees from poor households. The committee also recommended developing computer-adaptive tests, which change the difficulty level of the test on the basis of the student’s ability.