CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) has partnered with the tech giant Microsoft in order to prevent paper leaks in the future. Of late, the CBSE paper leaks have triggered a nation-wide outrage among parents and students. CBSE came under heavy criticism earlier this year following the leak of class 12 economics paper and class 10 mathematics paper.
As a result of the partnership, Microsoft has developed an encrypted security solution for the 20,299 CBSE schools across India for digital question papers. According to an IANS report, Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) and Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise said, “We have developed for CBSE an innovative solution which makes question papers leak-proof until 30 minutes prior to the start of the examinations”. He added that the if the question papers are leaked after they are let for download that is 30 minutes before the start of the exam, then the system will pave way for easy traceability. This is possible as the question paper for each center will be watermarked. For now, this solution is having a pilot run and it has passed the first test, claims Microsoft.The first-ever pilot of the digital question paper generation and delivery process involved 487 centers for the examinations for class 10.
How does it work? This encryption system will let the Controller of examination track the process using a software solution inbuilt in Windows 10 and Office 365. The complete process is encrypted along with a two-factor authentication process. Examiners have to identify themselves before they download the examination papers. As mentioned above, this is possible only 30 minutes before the commencement of the exam. Bhansali added, “The system allows various authentication process. For example, it can be OTP (one-time password) based or biometric based. It is up to the clients what two authentification process they want to choose”. It is said that the authentication can even be Aadhaar-based. This encryption solution leverages the Office 365 features and watermarks the papers. With the watermark, the localization and traceability of the paper leak become a simple task. A CBSE administration will initiate the distribution of the question papers. This will generate emails to the centers with a link to OneDrive, the file-hosting service of Microsoft. From this link, the question paper specific to the exam center can be downloaded. He added, “The system that we have developed for CBSE can be easily replicated for other boards or examination administrators. We will be happy to share it with other central or state authorities that conduct examinations for various purposes”.