The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has partnered with Microsoft India to digitally encrypt question papers for Class X and XII examinations. This initiative was undertaken to enhance security and seamless distribution of the papers. The solution was successfully tested as a pilot project in the recently held Class X compartmental examinations, across 487 examination centers with approximately 4,000 students.
The Controller of Examination can track the entire process using a software solution built on Windows 10 and Office 365. The overall process was automated to be highly secure with encryption, two-factor authentication and access to download the exam papers at the examination center only 30 minutes prior to start time. The solution leverages features in Office 365 to encrypt and watermark the papers. The watermark has the individual center’s code imprinted on it, which allows for localization and traceability in the eventuality of a paper leak.
A CBSE administrator initiates the distribution of exam papers, which results in the generation of emails to the respective centers with a link to One Drive where an exam paper, specific to the exam center can be downloaded. This digitization process saves significant time and cost for exam administrators due to online paper generation, automated delivery process and reduction in approval cycles.
Commenting on the partnership Anil Bhansali, Corporate Vice President, Cloud & Enterprise, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Private Limited said, “A strong education ecosystem is key to our nation’s development and Microsoft and CBSE are deeply committed to digitally transform the sector. Innovative implementation of technology has the potential to solve some of the most pressing issues faced by the sector. The success of this partnership with CBSE is proof of that potential. I am confident we are well on the way towards a digitally empowered education ecosystem.”
For the pilot test, multiple mock trials were conducted before the Class X compartmental examination date, with the entire CBSE team including various exam centers along with Microsoft experts to ensure seamless adoption and familiarity with the process. The solution was deployed by CBSE without a security breach. Widespread adoption of this solution can transform the education sector and essentially change the way students in India take their exams.
Microsoft is working closely with public and private institutions to help modernize education, impart ICT skills training and provide low or no cost technology that helps students with immersive learning, educators with engaging teaching methods, and administrators with efficient management tools.