India-ATP "Lights the Lamp" in New Delhi:


Launches First Conference

With the time honored tradition of “Lighting the Lamp”  to symbolize dispelling ignorance with knowledge, the India Regional Division of ATP (I-ATP) kicked off its inaugural conference held at the Habitat Centre in New Delhi India on November 20.

I-ATP Division Chair Roy Soumitra, General Manager of Global Business Development for Prometric, welcomed more than 100 delegates to the conference which was titled, The Future of Educational Assessment in India: Challenges and Opportunities. In planning the conference I-ATP teamed with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) as an academic partner. AIU promoted the conference among its members while I-ATP committee members provided planning and sponsorship support. 

[G. Harris at I-ATP/ Lamp in foreground]

Soumitra noted in his opening address, “The key objective of this conference is to urge the university officials to work with the India Division of the Association of Test Publishers, or I-ATP as we call it, to improve the quality of educational assessments for all students, to establish an ongoing dialogue with the university officials and to create an atmosphere where issues pertaining to higher education assessment can be freely discussed and solutions sought for.”

ATP CEO William G. Harris, AICTE Chairman Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe and AIU Secretary General Prof. Furqan Qamar echoed Soumitra’s welcome, urging delegates to engage in thoughtful consideration of the day's presentations, which included best in class scientific techniques and practices that can be useful for the higher education assessment such as test design and construction, content development, psychometrics and quality assurance, and latest trends in the field of computer based testing.  

Keynote speaker Professor Hariharan Swaminathan, Professor Education in the Neag School at the University of Connecticut provided two presentations. In his first presentation titled, Future of Assessment in India: Challenges and Solutions, Swaminathan provided an overview and history of testing in India, a nation which boasts one of the longest traditions of education in the world. He then presented challenges which included population size, focusing on 384 million Indian youngsters in the 0-15 year age range as compared to 32 million in the same age group in the U.S. In light of these numbers, Swaminathan noted, “it is not surprising that assessment and testing procedures in India have focused on selection and certification…(and) some of the selection examinations in India are perhaps the most grueling and most selective in the world.” Swaminathan went on to examine newer testing frameworks such as Item Response Theory, which lays the foundation for adaptive testing and in turn leads to shorter, more individually tailored and secure tests.  For Swaminathan’s second presentation he provided an Equating Workshop.

Swaminathan was joined by presenters from Eduquity, MeritTrac, Pearson VUE and Prometric.

In the afternoon session, Professor Sanjay Govind Dhande, former Director of ITT Kanpur, moderated a panel of experts representing the Chennai Mathematical Institute, Eduquity, IIT Delhi, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences and AIU. 

 Harris termed the first- time conference as “a first class event” in which professionalism and collegiality contributed significantly to a successful event.”  He also thanked the support of sponsors which included Prometric, Pearson VUE, Eduquity, MeritTrac, Scantron, GMAC and Internet Testing Systems (iTS).  [For more information on this event and to download presentations and a full schedule of speakers and sponsors, visit the India-ATP conference page at]