One of the most prestigious examinations of India, the IIT Joint Entrance Exam is turning into an online test. The Joint Admission Board (JAB) which is the governing body of the exam has come to this decision in order to make the evaluation process easier and fair. Every applicant is now to appear in their designated centers and go through an online test instead of OMR sheets.
The decision to turn IIT-JEE into an online exam is welcome on many points. But it can prove to be quite adverse to students on multiple facets.
Engineering has grown from a profession to a compulsion for children in the current Indian society. There is no refuting the fact that a very large faction of students dreams of getting a spot into the esteemed IITs. Being the premier engineering institute, IIT is the target for masses of students. These students come from the most affluent families, the most middle – class families, as well as the poorest families. This large – scale differential financial background is the prime cause to root against this decision by the JAB. Many applicants for the exam may not be well – acquainted with the technology required to appear for the exam. Such a decision as this can add pressure to their already nerve – wrecking life of preparation for the exam.
HRD Ministry’s Claims
According to an official from the HRD Ministry, this move will help in maintaining transparency and dealing with cases of a paper leak. The ministry has also declared for a three – day provisional training to all the students. This training would include information on operating the systems and mock tests. There are suggestions to the schools to involve the students in more and more computer usage in order to make them adept in such technology. The online tests will also help in neutralizing the errors of misprinting.
Online Means: Boon or Bane?
For the academic year 2017, the Joint Admission Board offered a choice to the students for opting between OMRs and online test in the mains exam. A figure of merely 10% students of the 13 lakh applicants chose to appear in the online paper, indicating people’s lack of interest in digitalized exams. There has been a wide lag in the acceptance of technology in the field of education. Parents from the upper class and financially sound background promote the use of online mediums. On the contrary, families belonging to the lower classes are continually in opposition to such means due to their financial constraints.
In this scenario, JAB’s decision to make JEE online is sure to attain mixed reactions, dominantly negative. It would be wrong to implement the plan right from the next academic year. Technologically unsound students should be allowed their share of time to learn the essentials for appearing in the exam and perform up to their capabilities. A decision like this will in a roundabout way favor children living in developed areas in opposition to their counterparts in the less developed regions.
With the financially as well as technologically divided population of the Indian society, it would be hard enough for the JAB and the HRD Ministry to implement this action to its success. Nevertheless, it is beneficial for the students to be acquainted with advanced technology as India moves towards digitalization.