Sunday, January 10, 2010

Online Exams In India In Legal Tussles

Educational reforms in India are urgently required. However, the progress in this regard is far from satisfactory despite the best efforts of Ministry of Human Resource Development through Union Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal. The position is worst when it comes to online education in India. The educational reforms in India are victim of “Political Nepotism”, say experts like Praveen Dalal. Unless Government of India adopts an open mind approach and utilise the expertise of knowledgeable people, Indian educational reforms would always remain in doldrums.

Educational reforms in India are urgently required to maintain quality of education in India. The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can achieve this arduous task provided we acquire the expertise to use the same.

Online education requires both state of the art technologies as well as effective laws. Even if we have all the favorable condition still there may be technical glitches or legal wrangles. But what would happen if we have inadequate technical capabilities coupled with criminal friendly cyber laws? The net result would be a demise of the e-learning and online education capabilities. The same is happening in India due to myopic insight and criminal friendly nature of government of India. Even the ICT Trends In India 2009 gave a negative report in this regard.

Indian online education system is very bad in shape. On the one hand we lack technical capabilities whereas on the other hand cyber criminals are on a ride without any deterrent law to desist them from attacking the server and other computer resources of educational institutions providing online education and exams facilities. The natural outcome was very obvious, i.e. legal disputes.

A CAT candidate has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court, asking for the cancellation of the online CAT 2009 and re-introduce the paper-and-pencil format of the exam. The petition states that even though the method of computerised test is claimed to be foolproof, there were several cases of cheating, mismanagement, leaks, rampant reboots, viruses and general all-round mismanagement.

If the GOI still does not wake up, it must forget about attracting foreign universities and their opening of campuses in India. In fact, such foreign universities must not open any centre in India till India is ready, both technically as well as legally.