Anna varsity to conduct pilot study for evaluation method

This year, Anna University will conduct a pilot study for a new method of evaluation.

In a bid to prevent malpractices in evaluation, the university has decided to scan the answer sheets, while corrections will be done online.

According to university officials, the pilot study will be conducted using the answer sheets of students of just one year from University departments.

The issue of valuation/revaluation had rocked the University after an investigation by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption Wing in 2018 found a former Controller of Examination (CoE) and a couple of senior professors to be involved in the bribe-for-pass scam.

The investigation found several methods of malpractice, including retaining all the identifying details of the candidates with the University CoE office and permitting students to enter their details in sheets other than those provided for the same.

The Tamil Nadu State Council for Higher Education was then assigned to develop a fool-proof method. The council came up with a three-part mechanism to maintain the candidate’s secrecy. The first part had a QR code to encrypt candidate’s details, including the register number, degree with branch, exam date and session, subject name, total pages written, question paper code, candidate’s signature and the name and signature of the invigilator with date. The key to the code would be sent to a different university and would be available only at the time of release of the results.

The second part had the first evaluation details including the Optic Mark Recognition table for evaluation, QR code, candidates details, the question paper code, exam date and session, and name and signature of the evaluator and chief evaluator with the date. The third part had the degree with branch and subject code, the exam date and session, question paper and QR code. The council also included a fourth and fifth part to provide for revaluation.

Officials involved said the method was devised for all the State Universities but not implemented despite approval from the then higher education secretary Sunil Paliwal.

The AI method

Last week, Tata Consultancy Services, launched an artificial intelligence-run command centre to monitor its exam centres in the country. Its method involved using information gleaned of past malpractices patterns to issue live alerts. It would track movement and devices carried by candidates to an exam centre through live CCTV feed and predict the readiness of a centre based on past incidents and current life feeds of events in the exam centre.

The officials, however, did not respond to questions about its feasibility in university exams or competitive national exams.

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