Maharashtra Education Minister meets TCS and Google India to examine the possibility of conducting HSC and SSC board exams virtually in the future.

Varsha Gaikwad, the state school education minister, met with two technology companies, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Google India, to conduct high-stakes board examinations remotely. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she claimed that the aim is to investigate the possibility of conducting major examinations, such as Class 10 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Class 12 Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) board examinations, remotely and digitally in the immediate future.

“Considering the pandemic,” Francis Joseph, co-founder of School Leaders Network (SLN), said at the conference, “the state School Education Department is open to exploring different ways to perform major exams with virtual proctoring and evaluation.”

Joseph continued, “There are several factors to consider, including the availability of technological resources, service accessibility, system reputation, and attitude shift. Given Maharashtra’s diverse student population, it will take some time to establish these factors.”

According to technology experts, developing the necessary skills, reputation, and infrastructure to perform major board examinations virtually and remotely would take two to three years. According to a senior official with the state Department of Education, “Many students in Maharashtra do not have access to the internet, do not have access to reliable electricity, and do not have access to technological equipment such as computers or smartphones. If we want to administer SSC and HSC exams virtually in the future, we’ll need to build a strong technological infrastructure.”

In collaboration with the state’s School Education Department and the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), TCS and Google India will prepare a roadmap with ten actionable points to implement this strategy for future board exams.