The Reason Behind Increasing Discrepancies In Online Examinations

With the advent of technology, our lives have become simpler. It has given us the desired comfort which we have been seeking since time immemorial. At the same time, technological innovation plays a lucrative role in the present democratic political system. In India, we have started using EVM in order to curb booth capturing and other kinds of electoral crime. EVM has changed our perception and brought a much needed electoral transparency which we were expecting for a long time. After serving almost one-and-half-decades, now EVM is also facing some discrepancies. But, the influx of VVPAT gave a much-needed respite in the current system.

Online forms, online banking, online certificates have changed the working and lifestyle of the middle class and upper class. DBT and other banking facilities have an enormous impact on the lives of working-class positively as well as negatively. Some people have experienced that technology paved the way for a simpler life while others are claiming that these technological advancements have made their lives more difficult.

In academia also, technology has brought many changes. Now we can fill online form, we can see our result online, we can download our result easily and even we can learn many things online. All of which have changed the lives of students. The recent news of a coolie in Kerala who has qualified the Kerala civil services exam by studying with the help of Wi-Fi facility at a railway station also illustrates how life is changing through technology. Besides, technology cuts down the cost of paper and saves time to a large extent. It decreases the use of paper and photocopying costs thus promoting the concept of “green revolution” in the world.

I am not saying that technology has always yielded right things. Everything in this world has its pros and cons and so does the technology. There are many illustrations which show that technology has played a villainous role in the lives of many laymen. With the use of technology, people are able to cheat smartly, people indulge in criminal activities by watching online videos. The effective implementation of technologies in the day to day life has become a farce for many. In the recent times, we have witnessed several instances of mismanagement by examination committees which organise different exams. For example, when SCC exam was conducted in 2017, there were huge outrages with regard to the leakage of question paper or certain instances of cheating or granting leeway for cheating by the invigilator. In fact, the government has already ordered CBI probe into this matter. Let me take the liberty to cite the more recent technical glitches which left many aspirants in quandary. CLAT 2018, conducted by NUALS, Kochi, witnessed a huge amount of discrepancies which put the future of many students at stake. There were instances of mismanagement and indifferent behaviour of invigilators that left students nowhere.

Technology, at its best, can provide you with a world-class facility while it can also leave you stray. There have also been some instances where there was a massive, utter, grotesque mismanagement of an exam upon which rests the future of many aspirants. There have also been certain situations of incompatible technological issues. We have reached such a stage that we cannot imagine our life without technology. It has become a necessary evil. The execution of online exams needs an overhaul in its structure. What are the ways in which we can improve technology so that it becomes a reality and not some random fastidious journey of luck?

First of all, there should be an appointment of the competent and efficient administrators at every centre who will pay heed to any discrepancies happening during exams. There should be an up gradation of technology and archaic technologies should be discarded from use. There should be an expert committee which will look and supervise the use of technology in the exams. The government or the organising committees of exams should also focus on the selection of appropriate hardware and software programs which should not leave any room for complacency. In addition to this, if any student is losing their time (supposedly, time starts a few minutes after the exam starts) due to some technical glitches then they should be compensated with extra time so that the right to equality prevails.

The policy with regard to technology is not at all bad. It is the implementation which causes heebie-jeebies amongst the young and ignited minds of the nation. The steps taken in order to minimise paper use, saving up of time has yielded positive results but these technologies have also been rugged with various glitches, discrepancies which causes discomfort to many students. Therefore, it is high time that we eschewed from technological errors and make the interface more student-friendly and according to their convenience. The government and the organising body should be cautious enough to avoid any error which consumes vital time during the examination. In the coming times, we can hope that the government and the management body will take some vital steps which will strengthen the use of technology in our daily life and will pave the way for smooth functioning existing technologies.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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