Technology can help in actively securing the examination system, and thus purge the system of paper leaks. Examinations have been integral to the education system and are a high priority, even at the graduate and post-graduate level. The stress and anxiety around the build-up to an examination and the re-examination, if needed, take a heavy toll on the physical and mental health of the students. Re-examinations prove a major drain of time and money, as the question papers need to be reworked on and can prove to be a major cost needing resources to re-conduct these examinations. The delay caused by re-examinations affect the announcement of results and invariably affect those students that need to submit their results to pursue higher education.
The role of technology or the lack thereof, in the examination process is a factor that needs a fundamental reconsideration. The ever-threatening risk of paper leak is one that is comprehensively addressed by adopting technology. Encryption of data is a key element in securing the examination papers; making them tamper-proof securing them from the vulnerabilities of question paper leaks. Encryption of data can be used in securing answer sheets; ensuring the the evaluation process happens in a systematic and secure manner.
Question paper leaks can occur through the various processes, right from the discussion stage to the examination hall. Miscreants tend to tamper with the data during the storage and delivery period. The cost incurred in the process of manual security and delivery of questions paper can also be brought down to a large effect. Technology has the ability to efficiently use available resources to optimise and give the best results. In such cases, the only infrastructure needed at a centre is a high speed printer and a computer to feed the One-Time Password (OTP).
Digitising the process can lead to data encryption of the content; this encrypted data can then be stored in the cloud. The examination controller can then feed a One-Time Password (OTP) that can activate high-speed printers to print the question papers and deliver the question papers to the examination centres 30 minutes prior to the test.
The use of this technology reduces the number of people involved in the labyrinthine route through which an examination paper reaches the end-user or the test takers. The added benefit for universities adopting such technologies is that it's cost-effective since it lowers or nullifies most indirect costs. Universities thus are able to focus on setting quality papers rather than worrying on the need to secure their question papers in various test centres across the city, state or country.
Question paper leaks are a huge drain on the trust earned of students on Universities. It is to bring a transformation in the laggard system that the MHRD in 2017 advised all universities to adopt technologies and make the system foolproof. While the government actively works towards a digital India, the education system needs to pulls its weight and start digitising it's system in phases. The examination system will play a key role in a digital university.