SKOCH Award Nominee
Category: e-Governance – State
Sub-Category: sube-Governance – State
Project: Banglar Uchchashiksha
Start Date: 2020-07-01
Organisation: Department of Higher Education, Government of West Bengal
Respondent: Mr Jaydip Mukhopadhyay, Special Secretary, Higher Education, Govt. of West Bengal
Level: Club Plus
West Bengal Introduces Digital Data Management for Higher Education
The Department of Higher Education, West Bengal, decided to adopt a digital strategy for data management to improve the monitoring and administration of Higher Education Institutions in the state.
The department struggled with poor maintenance of academic and administrative data related to higher education. The data was not easy to access, which meant it was not useful when the department needed to evaluate the different Higher Education Institutions in the state. 10+2 students did not have easy access to information about UG and PG programmes in state-aided institutions. The administration struggled with tracking and assessing the various grants given to the HEIs.
Initiating the process to collect, collate, categorise and upload data from several institutions and schemes was very challenge.
A portal has been developed dedicated to collecting and maintaining data related to Higher Education Institutions in West Bengal. The data is updated frequently so that each individual HEI can be accurately monitored and assessed. The Student Admission Module incorporated category-wise data related to admissions. Students can also use the portal to obtain information about their preferred subjects and state-aided institutions. The system allows the administration to track and evaluate a variety of grants.
Communication between different stakeholders has improved. Information is now properly catalogued in a centralised web database. The data is validated and sanitised to ensure the integrity of the Data Repository. The Student Admission Module keeps track of seat availability and makes modifications at the UG/ PG levels. The data maintained in the system can be used to get insights for making expansion and development plans for higher education in the state.
The data offers insights into the strong suits of the HEIs as well as facets that need more work. Student enrolment can be tracked according to parameters like subjects and categories etc. This gives an important inside into student needs and course preferences. Over 12.5 Lakh students have made use of the portal over a single year.
The portal was also instrumental in developing strategies for grant disbursal under the HED.
Creating a digital database that is both dynamic and structured and able to process several kinds of variables, as is inherent to the higher education landscape, requires technical and technological expertise. Higher Education Institutions involve several different kinds of processes and people categorisations in the form of positions, programmes, courses, vacancies etc. The database needed to be able to incorporate these intelligently.
It was vital to enhance communication channels between the Higher Education Department and the Higher Education Institutions and stakeholders in order to build a complete data repository.
The various stakeholders had to be trained to be able to use the new system and grasps the workflow of the modules incorporated into the same.
One of the bigger challenges is to be able to develop a map-based services for students integrated their preferred institutions on the system.
12 functional modules have been built into this e-governance platform serving as a data repository. Modern technology has been used to incorporate efficient data sanitisation and data validation functions to ensure proper data management. There is an emphasis on data analytics to ensure actionable information is used in decision-making. Communication systems for stakeholders include SMS and email-based setups.
The department intends to expand the programme to eventually cater to all the private universities and colleges in the state in coming times. There is a plan to integrate a transfer system for state-aided colleges. Plans to establish other modules, like a cultural module, RUSA module and a sports module are already underway.
Using current digital technology to overhaul a traditional landscape is a compelling example of how e-Governance can improve everyday lives and experiences.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Jaydip Mukhopadhyay, Special Secretary, Higher Education, Govt. of West Bengal at firstname.lastname@example.org
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