The Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education is planning to digitise all the information of students’ marksheets to make the process of acquiring a duplicate copy simpler
As the requests for duplicate marksheets, sometimes for certificates as old as 40 years, continues unabated, the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) is now planning to digitise the entire process. The board has decided to start transferring information of marksheets from hard copies into computers to make the process of handing out documents faster and hassle free.
Prone to manipulation: Applicants are finding it difficult to use duplicate marksheets as many institutes question the authenticity of these certificates
The task, however, is not going to be an easy one. MSBSHSE was established in 1966, and has information of every student from the time of its inception. The Mumbai divisional board office in Vashi, which receives the maximum number of requests for duplicate marksheets, sometimes gets requests for copies as old as 1975.
“Most requests for old certificates are from families compiling documents to prove the age of a deceased member. As everything is on paper and files, it sometimes becomes difficult to look up information. We hope once the process is digitised, it would become easier for us to look up and provide the information,” said Laxmikant Pande, chairman of the Mumbai division. At present, all documents are stashed away in their storeroom, and any untoward accident can destroy these files.
“It is astounding that we get 50-100 applications in the Mumbai division every day. Between March and August, the number goes up even more, especially for students who gave their exams in the Oct-November session,” he added.
In order to apply for a duplicate marksheet, an application has to be submitted to the board office, along with a letter from the school. For Rs 200, an applicant can expect to receive the marksheet within 15 to 30 days. In case of an emergency, an applicant can pay Rs 1,000 and get the duplicate copy within four days.
Lost your marksheet and thinking of applying for a duplicate? Chances are that the new copy will not be of much help either. For years, the state board has provided students handwritten duplicate marksheets, in which the marks of students are written with a pen on a template. While it may have been acceptable earlier, applicants are now finding it difficult as many institutes are questioning the authenticity of these certificates.
40-year-old Dinesh Sathe (name changed), who passed his SSC in 1991, is looking to apply for a licence at the RTO, and has to submit his marksheet. “I did not have a copy of the leaving certificate either, and therefore, I applied for a duplicate marksheet. I was surprised to receive the marksheet with my name, marks and other details written by hand. How can this be considered an official document?” asked Sathe, who is now trying to convince his school authorities for a copy of his school-leaving certificate.
Abhijeet Gokhle (name changed) passed his HSC in 2008 and before the results were declared, he had to move out of the city, back to his hometown. The 24-year-old is now trying to apply in an institute in Bangalore for higher studies and has to submit his HSC marksheet as well. “When I submitted the duplicate marksheet, which had the marks written with a pen, to the institute, officials pointed out that the marks can be easily manipulated and there is no guarantee that it is a genuine copy. I had to then approach the board chairman to give an official letter stating that the marks were correct. Only then the institute accepted my application,” said Gokhle.
Speaking to mid-day, Siddheshwar Chandekar, secretary of Mumbai divisional board, said, “Our division gets the highest number of requests for duplicate marksheets and it becomes difficult for us to provide a digital or printed copy, as the format of result has changed, along with the subjects. So, we use this template and fill the marks with a pen.”
When asked if the handwritten marks can be manipulated, Chandekar, said, “The marks cannot be manipulated as they are signed and sealed by the board. We are also considering the requests of applicants to digitise the system, and working on a template that can accommodate all result formats and subjects.”