Preventing the leaks

Preventing the leaks

Reports suggest that the recent EAMCET examination in Telangana might be cancelled owing to the allegation that the question paper was leaked to benefit a select few students.

Reports suggest that the recent EAMCET examination in Telangana might be cancelled owing to the allegation that the question paper was leaked to benefit a select few students. The monstrosity of paper leak reveals the education mafia that plays havoc with lives of the aspiring children. The leakage of question papers shatters the confidence of society in the examination system itself.

It has unpredictable consequences for the society due to mortality of merit. The leaks reflect the morbidity in the education department. Unbridled commercialisation of education, especially the professional courses, is the root cause of the problem. This cancer is symptomatic of rampant corruption in the entire education system.

The system of examinations involves elaborate logistics involving multiple players, from setting of the question paper to its printing, storage and delivery to the examination centres. This is obviously prone to cheating at any stage. The logistics of examinations should be made foolproof. Proper security systems have to be put in place at every level. Electronic protection to exam paper should be explored.

People with political, social and economic clout are behind this nexus between educators and racketeers. Precisely, this collusion mars proper investigation and even prevents deterrent punishment. This collusion course should be impartially probed and checked to curb the menace of leaks.

Coaching industry indulging in unethical practices has to be strictly monitored. Mandatory accountability system should be in place in the entire official establishment that deals with examinations. Papers should be printed at highly confidential and undisclosed locations which should be changed every year. Technology can be used to monitor the activities of the concerned.

Multiple sets of question papers have to be set and the right choice of the question paper should be taken at the highest level, that too at the last moment to prevent leakage of confidential information. Police support can be enlisted to guard the question paper printing and storage centres.

Among other measures, experts suggest that strong monitoring committees need to be formed in education boards and printing press. The printing should take place in a secure room at the test centres or regional hubs under surveillance cameras and senior observers so that the security and confidentiality of the question paper are maintained right from creation.

Technology can be adopted to evolve innovative solutions to curtail such malpractices that play with the lives of a generation. For instance, a bank of questions can be prepared and the data may be posted in a secure data center. The question paper can be prepared by selecting questions from the question bank and delivered to the examination centres in encrypted form. Highly confidential officials should be provided with the decryption rules just before the examination. Cutting down time and transaction can reduce the risk of leakage.

Cyber security measures should guide the entire process. Prestigious tests like GRE, CAT are being held online. This would prevent malpractices to a great extent. Information technology adoption, strict vigil, smart management of the process, exemplary punishment to culprits in case of leakage, diffusing syndicates, checking education mafia, curbing rampant commercialisation of education etc., can ensure fail-safe examinations.

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