Digital exam: UoM invites tender from private party

Digital exam: UoM invites tender from private party

University of Mysore

In 2015, the state government issued an order to all the state-run universities to mandatorily adapt the Information Communication Technology (ICT) software, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and make examination process digital. Even after three years, many universities are yet to adapt it and are still trying to violate the government order by inviting tenders by private companies.

A new addition to the list of universities violating the government order is the University of Mysore (UoM) which has geared up to adapt digital evaluation by joining hands with a private party.

The university recently floated a short term tender for the implementation of digital examination by inviting tenders from private players. According to the tender details, the contract will be for four years with a nominal increase in the rate (5% per year).

According to senior officials of the Higher Education Department, they have stopped the process of tender allotment several times whenever they found state universities going for private partnership. “Handing over the examination process to the third party is a security breach. The purchasing of the software from third parties will not cost less than Rs 5 crore."

"Many universities give excuses saying they have staff shortage and raise unnecessary concerns about ICT. But the government is ready to give the man power through KEONICS and also ICT is approved by University Grants Commission (UGC). Many universities are using ICT and made things smoother. Still, why should someone deliberately go for the private partners?” a senior official asked.

Currently, ICT is being used by Bangalore University, Tumkur University, Visvesvaraya Technological University and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. “They have the success stories to share and results are out within record time without any issues. They have also stopped collecting examination fees from the students. If they adapt the private player, each student should pay at least Rs 500 as examination fee,” the official added.

Defending the decision, UoM Vice-Chancellor Hemanth Kumar said the ICT software has a lot of loopholes and is not suited for their requirements. “ICT doesn’t support all the subjects offered by us. When compared to other universities, we are offering the highest number of subjects. So, it will not suit our requirements. Hence, we have decided to go for a better option and floated the tender,” he told DH.