Online admissions no easy feat for Kendriya Vidyalayas but this is how they did it
KV Shaala Darpan, the e-governance platform launched by the HRD ministry, has enabled parents and guardians to log on and get their children admitted to Kendriya Vidyalayaseducation Updated: Apr 29, 2017 12:32 IST
A mammoth task was accomplished online in one of the largest school systems in the world with an estimated 1.2 million students and 50,000 teachers. At the end of a two-year digitisation process, India’s Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has taken the student admission process of more than 1,146 schools on an online, cloud-based platform. And it has not been easy.
KV Shaala Darpan (school mirror when translated in English) the e-governance platform launched by the HRD ministry, has enabled parents and guardians to log on and get their children admitted to school without the bother of taking time off from work and making multiple trips to schools.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior KVS official who did not want to be named said getting all schools online had been tough, but “what has been done is very good.” The KVs had a complicated admissions process and this “sturdy platform” on KV Shaala Darpan had simplified the process. Almost eight lakh people had registered on the platform and over one lakh students had been admitted to KVs in this year’s session, he said.
The platform has been provided by MGRM Net Ltd, Indian arm of global research-based MGRM Group, which is headquartered in New York, with the Indian government’s web services organisation, National Informatics Centre and its IT solutions arm, NICSI.
The KVS official said the programme had been procured by NICSI, which had empanelled MGRM and others as part of a national tender. A “huge process” of data digitisation was undertaken first and now the “schools have digitised the information and are updating it,” he added.
The time taken to deploy the platform across the country was just 30 days. More than 1,000 schools, at the rate of five applications per school, were deployed and went live in a record 90 days, says Surabhi Das Sharma, country head and senior vice president of MGRM.
KVS rolled out the application for use in 65 schools of the Delhi NCR as a first test bed in December 2015. In February 2016, it was rolled out across the rest of the 1,123 schools of India.
The project aims to provide an end-to-end platform incorporating the public, school institutions and administration on a single platform.
On the challenges faced, she said, connectivity and standardisation of policies and rules across all schools and regions were an issue. Initial data digitisation and migration – converting data contained in manual registers into soft copies - was a complicated process as more than four million user details were collated, verified and digitised into the system. “ However, a very pro-active top team of KVS met the above challenges very effectively,” she added
“It was complicated initially because in our case KVs have 1,146 branches, which at times makes things very difficult,” The KVS official said.
In the online admissions process, all data was available live to each school, region and headquarter, enabling real time monitoring at a click. All steps of the admission process including registration, shortlisting and admission have been done on the platform.
Such processes can also raise some questions. What happens to those who are not digitally savvy? How can it be ensured that no student is left out of the admissions process because he or she does not have access to a computer?
Sharma says the online application form is very simple, with very minimal data entry. It provides mostly dropdowns for an applicant to select options from. “Parents who are not digitally-savvy can visit a cyber cafe and arrange for the form fill-up and submissions. Otherwise, parents also have the option to approach and submit their applications at schools directly. From applying to registering to shortlisting to admission, all steps are part of the platform - complying with all criteria in a complex environment,” she adds.