The paper leaks have become quite a common phenomenon. Whether it is board exams or competitive ones, there often come reports of paper leaks. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which has more than 20,000 schools in the country, 10th and 12th papers were subject leaks this year.
After being criticised for the frequent occurrence of paper leaks, CBSE has joined hands with Microsoft to prevent such leaks. For upcoming exams, CBSE will use Microsoft developed software solutions, which has already been piloted and run successfully.
The solution is basically a feature in Office 365. It is used to encrypt and watermark the papers. The watermark has the individual centre’s code imprinted on it which allows for localization and traceability in the eventuality of a paper leak.
A CBSE administrator initiates the distribution of exam papers, which results in the generation of emails to the respective centres with a link to One Drive where an exam paper, specific to the exam centre can be downloaded. This digitization process saves significant time and costs for exam administrators due to online paper generation, automated delivery process and reduction in approval cycles.
“The solution makes question papers leak-proof until 30 minutes prior to the start of the examinations. But if the question papers get leaked after they are allowed to download (just half an hour before the start of the exam) due to some bad actors, the system allows easy traceability as question paper for each centre are watermarked,” Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) and Corporate Vice President, told IANS.
Innovative implementation of technology has the potential to solve some of the most pressing issues faced by the sector, he added.
Earlier last month for the pilot run, a couple of mock trials were conducted before the Class X compartmental examination date, with the entire CBSE team including various exam centres along with Microsoft experts to ensure seamless adoption and familiarity with the process. It was deployed by CBSE without a security breach.
The innovative solution with widespread adoption has the potential to transform the education sector and essentially change the way students in India take their exams.
Microsoft claims to work with public and private institutions to help modernise India’s education system.