Mrunal Manmay Dash

Sambalpur: Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Institute Of Management (IIM), Sambalpur has decided to conduct the end-term examinations of the first-year students using online proctoring systems which will allow them to write their papers from home.

This will be the first-of-its-kind initiative taken by any B-Schools across the country to conduct the examinations using the digital methods, informed Director of IIM Sambalpur, Mahadeo Jaiswal.

According to sources, the students of the institute were asked to vacate their campus just before their term-end examination because of coronavirus outbreak. With the students at their home, the institute authorities now decided to adopt an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered software to conduct their examinations.

Speaking about the innovative digital solutions, Jaiswal said, "When all the Directors of IIMs met to decide the course of action to be followed during and after lockdown, the issue of online proctoral examination came up. Nobody at that time was brave enough to take this risk as they felt it can lead to legal issues with chances of malpractice."

"However, we decided to take it up here in Sambalpur, because I felt that the AI used in the software was quite robust and advanced. It could detect any cheating or malpractice within seconds, terminating the examination session right there with a warning. It was a third party software and it charged per student, per hour basis," stated Jaiswal.

He said a mock test of the system was conducted which was flawless and now the institute is ready to conduct the end-term examination of the students from June 1 that will be appeared by 100 examinees. The examination consists of 12 papers and the duration for each paper will be of two hours.

Speaking about technical issues that could crop up during the examination, Jaiswal said, "For issues like slow internet or malfunction of web-cam, we have allotted several time slots for them. A complete new set of question papers will be provided to the examinees in case of any technical glitches found during the session."

An upbeat Jaiswal was quite pleased with the cost of this software as well. As per his calculation, the cost of the new technology is just a fraction of the total cost incurred in the regular examination.

"IIM is a premier institute. So other institutes quite regularly follow our model of teaching. We are getting a lot of calls inquiring about this software and I hope others will implement it soon," said Jaiswal.