NEW DELHI: The pilot run of the online All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE) has received a lukewarm response with only 4,904 students registering themselves for the Net version while over 11 lakh aspirants will still be going for the traditional mode.
The Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), which conducts the exam, was planning to register 1 lakh students for the online version this year. Interestingly, the board is also planning to scale it up to a complete online examination in a year or two.
But CBSE officials are upbeat and said the plans were in place to make it a complete online exam in the near future. "I don't see it as lukewarm. We have created a capacity of 1 lakh, but we are happy with the 5,000-odd registration, primarily because there are registrations from across 20 cities and none of our centres is going vacant. We will see increase in numbers in subsequent years," said CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi.
CBSE officials are of the view that as this is the first time that the exam is going online and most students are comfortable with pen-and-paper-based exams, aspirants are apprehensive of making a shift. "One should not measure the success of the exam by its number but by its conduct. And we are confident of the smooth conduct of the online exam. These are teething problems, but the success of the CAT is an indication that computer-based test (CBT) is the future," said the media coordinator of CBSE, Rama Sharma.
AIEEE has witnessed a dip in the overall registration this year as well. In all, 11.18 lakh aspirants registered for the test to be conducted on May 1, while in 2010, over 12 lakh students took the exam, making it the world's largest entrance test. Both the CBT and paper-based tests will be conducted simultaneously across 20 cities and 81 cities, respectively, between 9.30 am and 12.30 pm. The paper-based test will also be conducted in Dubai and Riyadh. AIEEE is conducted by CBSE for admission to various National Institute of Technologies, Indian Institute of Information Technologies, deemed universities and a few state institutions.