The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) will tie up with Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL) to ensure uninterrupted power supply to exam centres, mainly to ensure that the surveillance cameras do not go off when the board examination is on.
This is one of the solutions GSHSEB has come up with, apart from employing information technology (IT) experts at the centres, to counter students and staff at examination centres devised to “outsmart” the policing measures to ensure a cheat-free examination. The surveillance project using CCTV cameras connected to a tablet, won the Skoch award 2015 under the smart governance category.
The GSHSEB has decided to fix responsibility on UGVCL for continuous electricity supply to all the examination centres.
Another precaution taken by the GSHSEB is to depute IT technical experts at each examination centre to ensure all procedures from installing of CCTV cameras, recording of examinations to submission of CDs have been duly followed. These steps are after the board discovered that corrupt compact discs (CDs) were submitted to the board, or the power supply intentionally disrupted to dodge camera footage during the few critical minutes. On enquiry from the board, this was then blamed on the erratic electricity supply for non- compliance of submitting the CCTV recorded footage and submitting ‘edited’ CDs with missing recordings.
Apart from students using unfair means, the GSHSEB came across numerous instances of unfair means used by the examination centres, either directly by the school staff or examination supervisors and invigilators and in some cases even the district education officers were questioned. As the onus of viewing CDs collected from each examination centre under respective districts is with the DEOs who then constituted teams (including engineering students) and gave this task to each of these teams. “The board came across these two excuses used most often by the schools.
While deliberating on ways how to counter these unfair means, it was decided that UGVCL should be roped in to check non-stop supply of electricity during the examination time and also IT expert to monitor the procedures followed by the schools. It was realised that manual assistance over technology is necessary as technology cannot resolve issues on its own. These would be used during the first and third semester examinations starting this month,” said GSHSEB deputy chairman R R Thakkar.
During the data compilation by the GSHSEB during March 2015 examinations, what came as more surprising was the fact that under several districts, not a single copy case was detected.
After enquiry it was revealed that the examiners devised a way to evade getting caught for helping students to copy. During the three-hour examination period, 10-15 minutes recording on the CCTV cameras and tablet footage was missing. The reason cited was that the electricity snapped. The flying squad detected a similar case in Gondal where the electricity supply was cut. On detection it was revealed that the electricity supply of only the examination centre snapped and no other areas in the vicinity. On further investigation, it was revealed that it was not the electricity supplier’s fault but an intentional cut to help students copying.
In the 2015 examinations, the total number of unfair mean cases detected by the CCTV cameras from Class X and XII state board examinations came out to be 7,448, with Anand district as the largest offender with 4,173 cases.