IIM Sambalpur adopts innovation by conducting all their examinations using Online Proctoring Systems

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Hyderabad: The global pandemic has taught us to find innovative ways to ensure continuity. This crisis has shown that being innovative is the only way to lead. With innovation as one of their core values, IIM Sambalpur, one of the most promising and dynamic management institutions among the new generation IIMs of the country, has taken a giant leap towards a digital future. Riding on the heels of successfully completing the remaining of their MBA 2020 admission process online, IIM Sambalpur has announced that they will now be conducting the end term examinations of the first-year students using online proctoring systems as well. This will be the first-of-its-kind initiative taken by any IIM across the country. The batch of 2019-2021 had to leave campus and return home before their examination started due to the lockdown.

Speaking on implementing the innovative digital solutions for both prospective and present students, Prof Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, IIM Sambalpur, stated, “Although our major admission process as part of CAP 2020 along with the other IIM’s were completed before lockdown, however for the remaining process for around 400 candidates, we had to adopt online proctoring systems for Written Ability Test (WAT) and Online VC for Personal Interview (PI). We also had to postpone the end term exam of MBA first year due to lockdown and now we have decided to conduct that through the same process as well. Students can appear for the tests by logging in through their laptop/desktop at their home in different parts of the country. About 100 students will be appearing for the term end exam of 10-12 subjects. This system of conducting tests online allows more transparency in the process. Moreover, with the help of Artificial Intelligence, there is no scope of human error in invigilation during the exam. There is no wastage of paper and we can send the answer scripts to our visiting faculties sitting at their homes online, for scrutiny, quickly and more safely, instead of sending them via the postal system. We, therefore, plan to conduct all our examinations online, henceforth, even after we reopen once the circumstances normalize.”

Some highlights of the innovative technology:
v No scope of human error
v Substantial reduction in cost
v More transparency & convenient
v Monitors and captures retina movement
v No phone calls – exam will be disrupted immediately
v Reduces paper wastage and environment friendly
v Buffer time allowed for network disruptions

The third-party online proctoring portal will serve only as a platform for the students to appear and give the examination. The questions will be set by the faculty of IIM Sambalpur and the answer scripts will be scrutinised by them as well. The online proctoring system will allow each student to be monitored and invigilated through an AI tool so that they do not receive any external help for writing their answers. The interface will also capture the retina movement of the prospective candidates. The exam disrupts even if an examinee attends a phone call. Keeping internet disruption in mind, students will be allowed a buffer time for the exam as well.

IIM Sambalpur also announced the successful completion of 100% Summer Placements for the Fifth Batch (2019-21) of its flagship MBA programme. With more than 85 companies participating in the on-campus Summer Internship placement process for a batch strength of 95 students, this year concluded with one of the best placement seasons beating previous years’ records. The institute has witnessed a highly coveted pool of first-time recruiters and the noteworthy mentions are Boston Consulting Group, Google, Walmart, McDonald’s, Amul, Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail (Pantaloons), Bajaj Allianz General and Life Insurance, Bajaj Finserv, DSM Group, Ernst&Young, IBM, Justdial, Jubilant Life Sciences, KPMG, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Reserve Bank of India, SIDBI, Tata Steel BSL, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), V Guard among many others. The influx of recruiters saw an increase of over 40% this year providing opportunities in multiple domains viz., Advertising, Apparel, Automobile, Analyst, BFSI, Chemicals, Consulting, Consumer Goods & Services, E-Commerce, Edu-tech, Financial Services, FMCG, Insurance, IT/ITES, Mining, Pharmaceuticals, and Retail.

This year the highest stipend offered was INR 1,60,000 domestic and the top quartile of the batch received an average stipend of INR 82,640, the top half of the batch secured an average stipend of INR 66,600 wherein the average and median stipend of the whole batch stood at INR 55,432 and INR 50,000 respectively.

COVID-19 crisis has changed the way management institutes and corporates collaborate, and IIM Sambalpur is no exception to it. It has become imperative for management institutes and organizations to explore new forms of engagement, which gave rise to virtual internship programs. IIM Sambalpur too is engaging its students through virtual internships programs, about 82 students in a batch of 93 are currently pursuing internships in virtual mode while the remaining are awaiting to start off their virtual internships. They appreciate the students and the organizations for adopting the new normal with such ease. This virtual exposure though has its own challenges opens doors for new perspectives and opportunities.

This pandemic has acted like an equalizer and levelled the field for one and all. The world is entering a new normal whereas human beings one will be even more dependent on the digital tools. With the advancement of technology, one must also keep on reinventing themselves to survive in this period. With the research focus of IIM Sambalpur being around 3D’s (Digitalisation, De-carbonisation and Democratisation of Business), the institution is prepared for this post-digital era. They already follow a model of blended pedagogy, combining the advantages of both online and traditional classroom education. Last year, they introduced a unique concept of Flipped classrooms, which is blended learning that is partly physical and partly digital. Now, IIM Sambalpur has also become pioneers in making transformation to an online method of examination.