[Editorial Analysis] Taming the hydra

• The recent question papers’ leak for examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and SSC.

• The challenge of preserving the sanctity of major public examinations is acquiring huge proportions. There is a pressing need to restore faith in our institutional practices and mechanisms.

=> DISTORTIONS or ISSUES

• The actual process of proctoring these examinations is deeply flawed. This happens in remote areas and in city centres.

• Having large numbers of examinees is also a daunting proctorial challenge.

• Examinees often, and in large numbers, complain about the non-conformity of a question paper to a formally prescribed syllabus.

=> POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

=> Making the examination centres IT advanced

• High bandwidth and internet-linked video cameras that transmit live images to a central monitoring centre and also store recordings on remote and secure servers. It also helps if these images are displayed live in local public areas for all to see. The potentially errant examinee knows that his examination may be declared null and void at any time in the future based on the video recordings.

• These monitoring systems should also be linked with proctoring teams that can be dispatched at short notice. Such simple procedures, wherever tried, have acted as effective deterrents.

=> Securing the leakage in Question Papers

• Developing Question Bank: for each question paper, an intelligently designed question bank must be created and updated regularly. This requires a group of seasoned subject experts and teachers to carefully create a large number of questions distributed into various categories based on levels of difficulty for reasoning and knowledge.

• AI Based Computer system to produce to produce effortlessly an intelligent and balanced question paper just a few hours before an examination.

• It can then be transmitted in an encrypted format by email to individual examination centres.

• Each of these centres must have high-speed printers to produce the physical papers. Another alternative to eliminate printing is to have a large screen in each room on which the entire question paper can be projected.

=> WAYOUT

• The surest way to ensure that such problems do not ever arise is to man our institutions with highly competent individuals of integrity, and to provide our institutions with a degree of freedom and autonomy. Add to this the dire need to completely overhaul our system of education in an enlightened fashion.

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