In an attempt to take the prestigious Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) to the next level, quiet work has already begun by the Indian Institutes of Technology on a plan to take the JEE Advanced online by 2016-17. The institutes have agreed that JEE Advanced should go completely online by 2016 in a meeting held on August 23, 2014 in New Delhi.
Nearly 1,50,000 students are eligible to appear for JEE Advanced post clearing the JEE Mains. The JEE Main examination decodes eligibility of candidates to appear for JEE Advanced and also determines admission to all National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other engineering colleges.
The Joint Admission Test (JAM) for admission in Masters courses at IIT and GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) offered at the institutes are already online along with JEE Mains which is now partly online. The online JEE Advanced will consist of Paper I and Paper II, both of which will have to be taken on the same day at one shot. But, before making an online debut, the IITs are planning to re-visit the nature of question paper for the JEE Advanced.
Other than ensuring that the exam format can be delivered online, replacement of the MCQ testing format is being looked into seriously by the IITs. The IITs are considering a questioning method which is objective yet drives a student to attempt the whole problem solving exercise and arrive at a written answer. This written answer sheet will be read and assessed through sophisticated Optical Character Readers (OCR) as envisioned by the IITs.
Many people in the IIT system believe that the current MCQ system might be allowing several students to score high just by guessing the correct answers instead of applying their mind. Hence, a shift from an MCQ based exam pattern to one which compels the students to come up with an original answer derived through problem solving is being proposed.
The IITs are trying to bring in multiple vendors for the JEE Advanced as opposed to the IIMs who have tied up with one vendor Prometric for conducting the CAT online.
Apart from this, the IITs have now been able to figure out a way of online joint counselling of students for admissions to NITs and IITs. A team of computer scientists from various IITs have together come up with a way to ensure an error-free mechanism for joint online counselling for admission to IITs and NITs. For the purpose of implementation, the counselling method will now be handed over to the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
A student will indicate his top institute and course choices at the time of filling the admission form. The online format developed by the IITs will communicate to the eligible candidates (who clear JEE Mains) which courses he is eligible for based on his rankings.
JEE Main and JEE Advanced, the much-hyped common entrance exam for admission to NITs and IITs that was introduced in 2013, saw IITs and NITs in opposite camps with the former refusing to participate the joint seat allocation system citing reservations about the software prepared by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) for the same.