Mumbai university goes hi-tech to prevent question paper leaks
For starters, question papers will only be available on a dedicated online portal and to download them, the college authorities will have to undergo a webcam scanmumbai Updated: Jan 14, 2017 00:18 IST
The University of Mumbai, which has been grappling with cases of leaked question papers, has decided to use technology to plug loopholes in the examination process.
For starters, question papers will only be available on a dedicated online portal and to download them, the college authorities will have to undergo a webcam scan. Only those with approved photo IDs will be allowed to download and print question papers sent by the examination department. The MU has also reiterated the need for installation of CCTV cameras, especially in exam rooms of all colleges. This new system will be introduced in the upcoming examination season starting March-April 2017.
“The last few cases of paper leaks were executed through WhatsApp and then it becomes difficult to find out who the perpetrator was. Through this new software, the entire process of paper downloading and printing will be recorded for security purposes,” said M A Khan, registrar, University of Mumbai. A host of workshops have been held in colleges across the city in the past one week to introduce college officials, especially the IT coordinators, examination committee heads, principals, among others.
Until now, MU was depending on the Electronic Paper Delivery System (EPDS), under which the password for question papers was sent via SMS to the college principal and IT coordinator an hour before the exam was to be held. Colleges would then download the papers and print enough copies for students.
The new process will allow colleges to nominate four people from their examination or IT department, whose photo IDs will be shared with MU’s examination committee. A question can only be downloaded once the webcam scan approves the identity of the person and the entire process will be recorded via CCTV cameras installed at the exam room in every college.
“Earlier, we couldn’t figure out who had downloaded the question paper in place of the two authorised people (principal and IT coordinator). This process will ensure better accountability,” said Kiran Mangaonkar, principal of G N Khalsa College, Matunga. One of the workshops was also conducted at Khalsa for principals and select staff members from city colleges.
The new features are part of the changes being brought in by a service provider the MU recently hired. The new software will also ensure that the MU exam control room is alerted when a question paper is being downloaded by a college. Officials are also planning to introduce a system under which colleges will only allowed to download papers that are conducted at their centre, in order to avoid distribution of wrong question papers. “Usage of technology will help solve many problems that the university has been facing for the past few years. This is a positive step by the varsity and will help make the examination system foolproof,” said Madhu Nair, principal of Nirmala Memorial Foundation College, Kandivli.