Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has decided to go to online.
In a move to go paperless, it will invite all applications for board exams through the online mode. That means, from now on, every SSC and HSC candidate in Maharashtra will submit his/ her exam form to a portal, which will be launched soon.
“An outsourcing agency was finalised by the department last month after inviting a tender,” said a top official from the school education department.
The ambitious project will be first rolled out for the repeater candidates who will appear for their exams in October. Around 6.5 lakh candidates annually appear for the October exam, both SSC and HSC, across the state. The figure for March exam is close to 31 lakh.
The move aims to convert the entire database in the digital format to fasten work, easy coordination and better handling of the crucial data which is cumbersome due to the eight divisions which are geographically far. The number of students taking class 10 and 12 exam is also on the rise and the board has to manage nearly 6,000 exam centres with a handful of staff.
“The online project will start with repeaters’ exam and will extend to all candidates who will appear in 2014 board exam. October exam was chosen to experiment with as candidates are less than of the main exam,” said Sarjerao Jadhav, chairperson of MSBSHSE.
On whether all schools in rural and tribal areas have computers and Internet facility, Jadhav said: “From 2012, the government made information and communications technology (ICT) compulsory for class 9 students. This academic year, class 10 students too will study it. So, every school must have computers and Internet.”
School principals have been entrusted to help the students apply online and verify candidates’ details.
The University of Mumbai went online in 2012 but the move has led to many goof-ups. Recently, the MPSC exam was deferred as virus wiped out the entire database. The state board officials said the board would ensure that the software is glitch-free and would have a backup data to avoid any last-minute fiasco.
The portal is being developed under the guidance of the board officials and it will be ready by May-end as October exam process starts in June.