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State board gets tech savvy : Colleges crash server, exam forms go offline

In an attempt to go paperless, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has asked colleges to submit application forms online for students appearing for the HSC exam in October.


Freedom of choice: The offline form-filling option given to colleges in areas where internet connectivity was poor

Though July 31 was the last day to submit forms, the deadline was extended till August 6 due to server issues, which surfaced as a result of several colleges trying to submit forms at the same time. This is the first time that the board is accepting the forms online.

Commenting on the server glitches, a board official said that colleges were provided with an operational manual about online form filling. The official said that as several colleges tried to fill the forms on the last day, the server malfunctioned.

“In places where internet connectivity was poor, we gave colleges the option of filling the form offline and submit them later. We hope the system works well so that it can be introduced for the SSC and HSC exams in 2014 as well.”

There are about 1,021 colleges in the Mumbai division, and the board has so far received 22,602 forms. Compared to the 3,22,193 students who appeared for HSC exams in February, far fewer number of students are appearing for the same in October. This is why the board decided to introduce the new system before the October exam.

Divisional Chairperson for Mumbai board, Laxmikant Pande, said, “This procedure of accepting HSC exam forms online is applicable across nine divisions of the state. Earlier, the colleges would manually submit the forms after verifying them, following which we would feed the details of students into our system. But we are now trimming the entire process and directly accepting the forms online.”

Though authorities from a few city colleges claimed the system appeared to be foolproof, they said the real challenge would be the February exams, when the number of students increases manifold.

HR College vice-principal Anila Pillai said, “Very few students from our college are appearing for the October exam and everything went smoothly while submitting the forms online. But only in February will we be able to understand how foolproof the system is, when the number of students is much higher.”

Those who agreed with Pillai and gave their approval for the system said inhibitions over using a new system were obvious, but positive changes brought in by technology were always welcomed.

Priyanka Rajani, principal of Vidyanidhi High School and Junior College (Science) in Juhu, said, “Why should a peon go all the way to the board office is Vashi when the forms can be submitted with just a click of your finger? I feel the new online system will be better.” 

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