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Telangana enhancing students’ performance through mGovernance

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After introducing Biometric Machines, CCTV Surveillance and Online Services, the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) is planning to introduce Mobile Governance for Junior College students in Telangana. Dr A Ashok, Commissioner and Secretary, BIE, Government of Telangana, shares more details about the initiative, in an interview with Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network (ENN). Excerpts:

How and when was the idea of introducing Biometric Machines conceived? What are your expectations from initiative?
The BIE has recently introduced – Biometric Machines — at all Government-run Junior Colleges in Telangana. Its primary objective is to ensure the attendance of principals, teaching and non-teaching staff and students.This will enhance the overall performance of the education system.

Biometric Machines, which will hold the key in bringing discipline in attendance, will act as an effective tool for monitoring. We are getting reports regularly based on the biometric system.

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We have found that many students join college for availing scholarships and other benefits being offered by the Government but they show little interest in attending classes, which is sacrosanct of the students. The new system is also used for monitoring mid-day meal scheme which is extended to Junior Colleges in the State. Today, education in junior colleges is free. The Government will provide resources such as admission, free text books and food at the colleges.

Our expectations from introduction of the Biometric Machines is to enhance the attendance. This will help in accountability and self-discipline among the principals, teaching and non-teaching staff and students. In this way, biometrics is extremely useful both in helping college management feel secure and in eliminating user time theft, as it relies on personal characteristics that vary between individuals. The wide variety of easy to use terminals ensures that biometrics is a smart (and cool) solution when deciding what kind of time and attendance system. There are 3000 junior colleges in Telangana.

What is the status of the project?
All Government Junior Colleges are equipped with Biometric Machines. At least 60% of Private Junior Colleges are also covered so far. Plans are on to make the use of Biometric Machines as mandatory. We are getting good reports from these colleges. These reports will help the BIE in improving the efficiency in all aspects of functions of these colleges. We found IT is a great enabler and facilitator in bringing efficiency in education.

The BIE has used CCTV surveillance for examinations. How was the experience?
The usage of CCTV surveillance for examinations was very useful. It has helped in managing the examinations and its conduct smoothly. We have tested the CCTV surveillance on pilot basis. We shall continue to use the same in the future examinations as well.

What is your take on online services? Where do you stand in this?
Under Digital Telangana’s initiative, we introduced 15 online services and 7 college services for benefit of the students. I am happy to inform you that the Board of Intermediate Education has received Best Government Initiative Award for its online services.

What are your plans for Mobile Governance?
We are planning to introduce Mobile Governance for Students, making them as Smart Students.

All our services – 15 online and 7 college services – will be soon available through Mobile. Students can able to download their resources, including certificates and mark sheets without visiting their colleges. This Mobile Governance will enhance the standards and excellence in services.

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