Facing flak over the toppers scam, the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) is upgrading its rudimentary exam process to a technology-enabled platform right from registration of students to evaluation of answer-sheets. This process of migration, it hopes, will plug loopholes in the system and restore its credibility, the BSEB said. “We are about to change the entire structure,” BSEB chairman Anand Kishor said .“Answer-sheets will now change to horizontal; also there will be a provision for OMR (optical mark recognition) with bar-coding.”
Further, answer-sheets will be scanned to avoid their physical movement to evaluation centres. There, it will be available to evaluators on their respective computer screens through the web, Kishor, who is also Patna divisional commissioner, explained the reasons for the complete overhaul. “The idea is to restore the prestige of the board and remove misgivings about the quality and merit of Bihar board students,” he said.
“We have tried to adopt the best practices of the CBSE, ICSE and other state boards to make the BSEB the best class-10 and class-12 exam-conducting body.” By doing away with the offline registration process, the BSEB will be eliminating almost 90% chance of wrong entry of candidate’s name and father’s name, according to Kishor. “It was the biggest source of trouble that took years for rectification on matric and inter certificates. The onus of providing correct entry will rest on schools and colleges, which will have to submit a certificate that the data has been verified by students,” he said.
The “biggest change”, though, will stem from the introduction of bar-code system . Copies without names and roll numbers, only having bar-code stickers, will be difficult to identify in comparison to the old system. Moreover, availability of scanned copies for digital evaluation system will also make the process more watertight, he pointed out. The chairman said the board, which conducts secondary and senior-secondary examinations twice a year, was mulling to rope in retired government-school teachers for evaluation. “For this, training will be provided to field-level officers. Evaluation may take the same time, but we can avoid post-evaluation delays,” he said, hoping for timely publication of results.
Another significant change being introduced will be in the mark-sheets, which will have a total of 12 security features, including three new features like QR code, m-certificate and photo. The new software-enabled features will eliminate time delays and trouble associated with physical verification by institutions by facilitating immediate online verification, Kishor said. “We are also encouraging institutions to provide mobile, e-mail ID and aadhar number. Although it is not mandatory, those with aadhar numbers will have the facility of having their mark-sheet, etc, in digital locker,” he added.