Mumbai: The IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) have decided to conduct the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) online from 2014 owing to its increasing popularity among students. As per sources, on Thursday, IIT-Kharagpur, which is holding GATE this year, issued a tender notice seeking technical and commercial bids from service agencies.
In a statement, an IIT-Kharagpur professor has said the growing number of applications they are receiving from candidates has prompted them to take the examination completely online. They have been in the past, conducting a few papers online. As per records, GATE 2013 received the highest number of registration i.e. 1.21 million. In 2012, 7,50,000 candidates had registered for GATE.
The Indian Institute of Science and the IITs administer and conduct GATE each year. All those who clear this test are eligible for admission to post-graduate programmes with the advantage of government scholarships or assistantships in numerous engineering colleges and universities.
As the public sector undertakings select candidates through GATE, the number of GATE aspirants has been increasing significantly. Previously, the test was used as a qualifying examination for the ministry of human resource development assistantships. Umesh Bellur, Organising Chairman, GATE 2013, IIT-Bombay, had said, conducting exams is an academic exercise and given GATE is a fairly standardised test and is conducted on an all-India scale, it brings economies of scale to public sector units and they can concentrate on interviews.
Over the last few years, GATE has been gradually incorporating online mode in some of its courses. 15 out of 21 papers were conducted in online mode for GATE 2013. GATE 2012 and GATE 2011 had conducted 6 and 4 online papers respectively.
According to the tender notice of IIT-Kharagpur, examination for GATE 2014 is supposed to be conducted for 21 papers in 12 sessions with 2 buffer sessions. Some will have multiple sessions, while for others there will only be one session. The examinations are scheduled to be at the following dates: 1st, 2nd, 15th and 16th February, 1st and 2nd March of 2014. Each day will have 2 sessions (9:00AM to 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM). The tender also included a tentative list of 118 cities for conducting the exams.
Moreover, Triumphant Institute of Management Education, a coaching institute training students for qualifying GATE, said though it is a new medium, Online mode need not be seen as a hurdle to students as most of them are comfortable with the online medium, and have attempted online tests like BITSAT/AIEEE at +2 level. Also, they will have access to the actual GATE exam interface with sample questions, months before the actual GATE.