In a bid to bridge the digital divide and ensure transparency and efficiency in the state owned schools and colleges, the government of Telangana has taken major tech-based initiatives. As part of the ICT based initiatives, the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education has pumped in Rs 25 crore in the last two years. Of this, Rs 10 crore was spent on computerisation of schools, another Rs 10 crore on installation of CCTV and biometrics while Rs 5 crore was spent on developing innovative online applications for students.
The board has recently launched its ‘Centre Locator’ app that helps students locate their examination centre easily. “The app tells the exact distance and location of the examination centre from the student’s residence. It also identifies the exact building of the examination centre along with the shortest possible route and real-time traffic jam possibilities. Around 1300 examination centres throughout the state have been geo-tagged,” says A Ashok, secretary, TSBIE.
This app is expected to help students reach their centres on time. In the recently held intermediate exams in the state, the Intermediate Board had declared that no students would be allowed into the examination hall even if they are a minute late.
The board has also introduced an application for mobile governance offering various student related services through the mobile phone . “Students can download the app and apply directly for the certificate. A certificate preview is generated through the app and the printout can be taken directly from anywhere. Not just the migration certificate, but other certificates such as pass certificate, duplicate marks certificate can also be availed of in this manner.”
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Talking about ensuring transparency in the examination process, Ashok informs, “We have also digitised the system as now the online question paper reaches the examination centre just minutes before the start of the exam with an OTP protected password. The OTP is given just 15 minutes before the start of the examination, so there is no room for any kind of cheating or manipulation.”
If there is a paper leak, there is always a chance that students entering the examination centres late are already aware of the questions. But with students not allowed to enter late and the question paper reaching the centres in an encrypted form through digital medium, the chances of unfair practices are curbed, he explains. There are about 10 lakh students in Telangana colleges, out of which approximately two lakh study in government colleges.