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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Seba steps for exact results

Guwahati, Nov. 27: The Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (Seba) has introduced an intelligent character recognition system to ensure error-free evaluation in matric examinations next year.

Seba chairman Shantikam Hazarika told The Telegraph that the system would help the board process the results faster as the computers would be programmed to interpret handwriting in the answerscripts and marksheets. The system would do away with the manual system of calculating marks shown in the answerscripts and entering them in the marksheets.

The intelligent character recognition system allows a computer to learn different types of human handwriting, interpreting those appearing on plain paper, photographs and touch-screens, among others. Offline handwriting recognition refers to any article containing handwriting that is scanned onto a computer.

“The system is part of Seba’s exam reform initiatives to ensure zero error in the evaluation process. Under it, the chances of committing errors and resorting to unfair practices will be almost nil since the answerscripts and marksheets will be scanned through computers,” Hazarika said.

Seba has been facing severe criticism from different quarters, including the All Assam Students’ Union, for running an outdated and faulty evaluation system, which has allegedly jeopardised the academic careers of many brilliant students. Many aggrieved candidates have dragged the board to court on several occasions for allegedly not giving them the marks they deserved.

During the 2012 matric exam held in March, Seba was at the receiving end of a series of controversies — from question paper goof-ups to a cow chewing up answerscripts in Goalpara district.

Besides being error-free, the system will also help Seba to complete the process of evaluation fast and declare the results early.

In July this year, education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that in 2013 Seba would be the first board in the country to declare the Class X final exam results. The Supreme Court has set June 10 as the deadline for all examination boards in the country to declare the Class X results.

Hazarika said the board would adopt a zero-tolerance policy against the casual approach of some invigilators and officials while attending examination duties. He said a meeting of headmasters of schools across the state would be convened soon to sensitise them on how to maintain the sanctity of matric exams next year. Sarma is expected to attend the meet.

The minister had recently asked the district inspectors of schools to identify “incapable” headmasters so that they are not entrusted with matric exam duties.