In an effort to tackle paper leaks, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has collaborated with Microsoft India to digitally encrypt Class 10 and 12 question papers. The board aims to strengthen security measures and conduct uninterrupted distribution of papers.
The authorities have already tried out the viability of this new method in July during the Class 10 compartmental examinations that were recently held across 487 exam centres, IANS reported.
The Controller of Examination would be able to track the papers at every step with the use of a software on Windows 10 and Office 365. The entire procedure is automated with high-level encryption and a two-factor authentication and download access, only 30 minutes before the start time.
This year, the CBSE has continuously been in the line of fire after the leak of the Class 10 maths paper and Class 12 economics paper. The flaw in their security system sparked nationwide outrage as parents and students blamed the board.
“We have developed for CBSE an innovative solution which makes question papers leak-proof until 30 minutes prior to the start of the examinations. But if the question papers get leaked after they are allowed to download (just half an hour before the start of the exam) due to some bad actors, the system allows easy traceability as question paper for each centre are watermarked,” Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) and Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise, told IANS in a telephonic interaction.
The CBSE administrator initiates distribution of the question papers that triggers an email chain to the respective centres with a link to OneDrive (Microsoft’s file-hosting service). This link will give access to the exam papers for each centre.
Besides making the security system foolproof, the process is expected to save a significant amount of time and money involved in the exam procedure.
“The system that we have developed for CBSE can be easily replicated for other boards or examination administrators. We will be happy to share it with other central or state authorities that conduct examinations for various purposes,” Bhansali told IANS.