Next year, the JEE-Advanced may change from being a paper-pencil entrance exam to a computer-based one. The decision on the switch will be taken when the Joint Admission Board meets in early September.
On Sunday, members of the board, the highest body that takes decisions on admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), said the JEE-Advanced in 2014 could be offered as a computer-based exam since “it is the way forward”.
“We discussed a proposal to offer the test on computer or, at least, to keep it as an option in the first year,” said IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar. He said the rollout looked possible since candidate numbers had dropped to 1.5 lakh.
A total of 12.82 lakh high-school graduates applied to take the JEE (Main) exam in 2013 when India took its big step towards the ‘one nation, one exam system’. Among them, only 1.74 lakh candidates took the computer-based test. The next level, which is the JEE (Advanced) test for admissions to the IITs, received 1.5 lakh candidates.
IIT-Kharagpur, which is in charge of conducting the JEE (Advanced) for 2014, will parse through the 2013 database. “As a starting point, we’ll see how many of the students who qualified for the IIT (Advanced) took the main test on computer,” said an IIT official.
Some logistical deviations will have to be considered. “We’ll have to run the computer-based tests and the paper-pen tests at the same time at all the centres across India,” he said. “We’ll have to be extremely cautious.”