A substantial part of the Indian School Certificate and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) would go online this year, making the examination and evaluation processes transparent, accurate and time saving, education authorities said.
"We plan using IT in a way yet to be used by any Indian education board. It will make our exam system transparent and accurate and save us a lot of time and energy," said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive officer and secretary of Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).
He said the new method will substantially decrease the time gap between exams and results.
To begin with, the practice of allotting index number to a registered student in classes X and XII is being done away with.
Through index number it was possible for the examiner to get an idea regarding the identity of the student--- his address and his school.
But from this year, the ISC and ICSE examinees would be getting a Unique ID, a seven digit number through which the entire detail of the examinee would be masked.
This ID would remain with the student for the rest of his life and can be used by him to apply for duplicate mark sheets or for re-examination after the publication of the result.
Apart from having a unique ID, the students will be getting bar coded answer scripts. The students will have to write their Unique ID on the first page of the answer script, which is detachable and also has the bar code.
The next page of the answer booklet will also have a bar code along with an OMR sheet, where the teacher would put the marks obtained by the examinee in individual questions during evaluation. The evaluators would not get to know the unique ID of the students.
The detachable first page containing the Unique ID and the bar code would be retained by the council and the answer script booklet, which will have just the bar code, would reach the teachers.
Orion India Systems Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of US based Orion Systems Integrators Inc, is helping the CISCE to implement the entire process.
The reform does not end here. Once the exam is over, the answer scripts from over 2,500 exam centers from all over the country would be send to CISCE head office in Delhi where Orion India Systems Pvt Ltd has installed a special machine which will barcode each envelop of answer scripts.
It will have the details of which of the 650 centralised evaluation centres in India would receive a particular packet of answer script and which teacher would evaluate it. It will also have information on which room and which rack in the council office would store it until it is dispatched for evaluation.
In order to make the evaluation process fast and to keep tab on the whole system, each of the 650 evaluation centers, where the teachers are required to stay back and evaluate the answer script over a period of two week, would also have a scanner installed.
"All the teachers need to do is after evaluation, scan the OMR sheet as well as the bar code of the answer booklet and upload it to the system of the council through the internet. In that way not only the council will get the marks instantly but also monitor the evaluators' performance on a daily basis," said Narendra Kumar, director of Orion India Systems Pvt Ltd.
The best part of this entire process is that till the last day of the evaluation no one would be able to know how a student has fared. All the information would be stored on Microsoft data cloud.
"The day before the publication of the result, Gerry Arathoon, would be using his digital signature so that the bar coded OMR sheets can be mapped with the unique ID of the student in the system. And in a matter of 40 seconds the result of the student would be printed and ready," said Kumar.
"This system would not only be transparent, accurate and save time but will also help us in doing a lot of data mining research on the marks and better our teaching learning system. It will also cut down on the time required for publication of re-examination results," Arathoon added.
The ICSE exam this year starts on March 3 and concludes on March 29. More than 150,000 students would be taking the exam. Another 70,000 students from all over the country would be taking the ISC exam that will be held between February 10 and April 7.