The higher and technical education department of the state has issued directives to all universities, making it mandatory for them to adopt the online assessment of exam answer sheets from this academic year.
The department said it will help universities declare results early, prevent malpractice and save money on the assessment process.
According to the new directive, issued under section 8(4) of the Maharashtra Universities Act, universities must appoint agencies to set up systems that will let teachers check answer sheets from their homes.
The system will also allow students to download their marksheets, and facilitate online verification by employers who hire graduates from the state’s universities.
“Some universities have already started using the online mechanism to download question papers minutes before the exam starts to prevent leaks.
We want them now to use it for the assessment to speed up the entire process,” higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday.
In online assessment, answer sheets are scanned immediately after they are submitted by candidates in the exam hall.
After coding the answer sheets, they are sent to evaluators, who get a password to access and correct the papers.
Tope claimed the cost of the assessment would drop to a third of the current amount being spent.
Tope said that using the mechanism to verify online the certificates issued by state universities will also be possible.
“Currently, employers in foreign countries send physical copies of the certificates for verification to the universities concerned. The new method will enable easier online verification,” he said.