Here’s how TCS and MeritTrac solutions aim to stop candidates from cheating during online exams

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  • Companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), MeritTrac Services are leveraging technology to enable universities and exam boards to conduct secure examinations in a remote setup.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Ambrish Sinha, CEO at MeritTrac Services, said that the online assessments have become more important than ever.
  • The remote proctoring tools track the eye movement, facial expressions and the ambient noises so as to avoid any malpractices.
  • However, Sinha agrees that there is still a scope of error since the camera of the device can not provide a 360 degree coverage.
The online education industry has grown multifold during the Coronavirus pandemic. With the massive surge in the number of online learners and the government announcement on online degrees, educational institutions including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are now moving to virtual exams, courses and certification.

However, this shift to online has accelerated the demand for secure remote assessment and integration, and digital evaluation processes. Given that, companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), MeritTrac Services are leveraging technology to enable universities and exam boards to conduct secure examinations in a remote setup.


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In an interview with Business Insider, Ambrish Sinha, CEO at MeritTrac Services, said that the online assessments have now become more important than ever. “As education goes online, assessment becomes even more important. The online proctoring tools have got a major boost and are being used by universities and even schools for the students between 9th to 12th grade,” he said.

MeritTrac Services is a subsidiary of Manipal Global Education, which provides remote assessment to partner institutions like University of Mumbai, Government of Odisha and more.


Tracking the movement of candidates via video streams


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These remote proctoring tools require a simple setup — laptop and a WiFi connection. The examination browser displays the questions on the screen while the camera and microphone tracks the eye movement, facial expressions and the ambient noises so as to avoid any malpractices.

“If you move your head multiple times, we know you are trying to do something. So, there is a human proctor who gets a red prompt when there is a deviation or noise at the candidate’s end. It also doesn’t allow opening any other browser on the device,” Sinha explained.

The platform only allows to view one question at a time — which can not be skipped without answering. “Our algorithm gives a credibility score at the end of the exam based on several parameters like the time spent, body movements, ambient noises and red alerts and more. If the score is below a certain level, we ask the candidate to reappear for the exam.”

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On similar lines, TCS iON, the strategic arm of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for education, launched a remote assessment platform recently — which has assessed 28 million candidates so far. The product locks the appearing candidate’s device before enabling it to capture the exam responses. Once the user enables the camera, it also sends the video stream to the cloud server — which is then analysed using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect any wrong activities.

It also enables invigilators to proctor candidates in real-time.

“This will ensure that exam administrators are able to conduct exams in a secure way, at speed and with no dependency on the candidates’, proctors’ or exam administrators’ location. This will help authorities quickly schedule and complete the exam process,” said Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head, TCS iON.

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However, Sinha agrees that there is still a scope of error since the camera of the device can not provide a 360 degree coverage.

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