CBSE partners with Microsoft to digitally encrypt question papers for Class X and XII examinations
Controller of Examination can track the entire process using a software solution built on Windows 10 and Office 365. (Photo: Agency)

The Central Board of Secondary Education () has partnered with India to digitally encrypt question papers for Class X and XII examinations. This initiative was undertaken to enhance security and seamless distribution of the papers. The solution was successfully tested as a pilot project in the recently held Class X compartmental examinations, across 487 examination centres with approximately 4,000 students, said a statement.

Microsoft said that the Controller of Examination can track the entire process using a software solution built on Windows 10 and Office 365. In case of CBSE, the overall process was automated to be highly secure with encryption, two-factor authentication and access to download the exam papers at the examination centre only 30 minutes prior to start time.

Microsoft informed that its solution leverages features in Office 365 to encrypt and watermark the papers. The watermark has the individual centre’s code imprinted on it which allows for localization and traceability in the eventuality of a paper leak.

A CBSE administrator initiates the distribution of exam papers, which results in the generation of emails to the respective centres with a link to One Drive where an exam paper, specific to the exam centre can be downloaded. This digitization process saves significant time and costs for exam administrators due to online paper generation, automated delivery process and reduction in approval cycles, said technology firm.

For the pilot test, multiple mock trials were conducted before the Class X compartmental examination date, with the entire CBSE team including various exam centres along with Microsoft experts to ensure seamless adoption and familiarity with the process. The solution was deployed by CBSE without a security breach.

“Innovative implementation of technology has the potential to solve some of the most pressing issues faced by the sector. The success of this partnership with CBSE is proof of that potential. I am confident we are well on the way towards a digitally empowered education ecosystem,” said Anil Bhansali, Corporate Vice President, Cloud & Enterprise, Managing Director, Microsoft India.

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