Computer Unit System Analyst/Programmer (SA/P) : Sh. Naveen Bhatia In Open Learning, the face-to-face contact is very limited and the learners are at a distance and the teaching methodology is distance education mode. In such scenario, Open Schooling has to depend heavily on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is much more relevant in case of Open Schooling by its very character. MSOS has made the optimum utility of ICT in almost all of its activities and programmes. Under the programmes and activities of the National Institute of Open Schooling (MSOS), Information and Communication Technology is being used as a major strategy towards reaching the unreached and management of MSOS. Infrastructure The Computer Unit backs up the Information Technology needs of the Institute. It provides computing facilities and Internet services to all the staff members and learners of the Institute. Network facilities have been provided to all the staff members to access and share the Resources. Individual email accounts have been provided to all the staff members on MSOS Domain. High speed internet connectivity through network connections and through Wi-Fi is provided to all the staff members of the Institute. Wi-Fi internet connectivity is provided in all the floors in the MSOS office building. Appropriate network security is being maintained in the Institute. The Computer Unit is equipped with state-of the art Centralized computing facilities through high performance servers in client server architecture. The MSOS has come a long way in the forefront of ICT since it made a small beginning with only two personal computers in 1989. Over the years all necessary hardware and software infrastructure were installed for computerization of MSOS activities. Starting with a small Computer Unit with few numbers of computers, it has reached to the level of full fledge Computer Division with five units within it namely EDP Unit Internet & On-line Application Unit Software Development and Implementation Unit Networking & Maintenance Unit On-Demand Examination Unit. Today it is equipped with latest hardware and software. There is Local Area Network with centralized database. There are two fast line matrix printers to meet the requirements of heavy printing work of the EDP unit. Besides Desktop and printers were provided to all the departments and branches for their smooth and efficient functioning. All the computers in all the buildings are connected with a high end IBM server and Windows 2012 server Operating System and 100/100 mbps backbone connectivity. This has greatly enhanced communication and resource sharing among the users. For Internet there is Internet Leased Line (ILL) installed. With this, the access of the Internet has been made possible round the clock through the Local Area Network. This has greatly augmented the Information and Communication capability of MSOS. It has also helped reaching the learners very promptly. Another landmark was the installation of a compact integrated Learner Support Centre (LSC) on the pattern of call centre operational 9.00am to 5:30 PM (supported by Executive) and from 5:30 PM to 9:00 AM (Supported by IVRS) all days. It is a Technology-assisted learner support system, which consists of a 5-7 Learner Support Executives backed by recorded information through Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). Web Servers and Online Applications: MSOS is having 10 web servers for all online applications and database. All the Regional Centres of MSOS are provided with basic computing facilities with 4-6 computers and 2-4 printers. The Regional centres are also provided with ILL of 1 Mbps for Internet access and e-mail facility for transfer of data and for smooth connectivity with Headquarters at Delhi. The Admission and Examination data were transferred through e-mail from the Regional Centres to the Headquarter, which expedite the processing work tremendously. Online Facility for MSOS learners under MSOS Online (Ni-On) Online Admission for Secondary and Sr. Secondary MSOS was one of the first educational institutions at school level to use ICT for bringing about a major structural and functional transformation of its basic operations of Admission, Examination and Accreditation under the project MSOS Online The Project MSOS Online was launched on pilot basis in July 2007 – 30,000 admissions. Upscaled and expanded in July 2008 – 1,63,000 enrolment out of total admission of 3.70 lakh during the 2nd Phase of expanded online admission and from the Year 2010-11 100% online Admission was introduced. Under MSOS Online new streams of admission were opened in order to expand the access to various category of learners. Online Admission – Stream 1 – For all learners. Online Admission – Stream 2 – For unsuccessful/failures of recognised boards to appear in Oct- exam to save precious one year. Online Admission – Stream 3 – For unsuccessful/failures of recognised boards to appear through On-Demand Examination System (ODES) at Secondary Level. Online Admission – Stream 4 – For unsuccessful/failures of recognised boards to appear through On-Demand Examination System (ODES) at Sr. Secondary Level.Advantages of the Online Admissions are as follows: Independent of time and place – Anywhere anytime – Admission Open 24×7: enhancing the access to its fullest term; Faster and Simpler Admission: Direct access to MSOS Admission; Choice of Study Centre: Freedom to select Study Centre of his/her choice; Better support services: Direct interaction of learners with MSOS and faster redressal of all problems; Easy Payment: Payment of fee online through credit card else by Bank Draft. Dispatch of Icard/study materials directly to the learners Hassle free admission procedure at a click of a button Learner’s involvement in the process of admission and online monitoring. Confirmation of Admission within 10 days of receipt of the application. MSOS-Online Project has won the National Award for e-Governance 2008 in the category of Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering. Online Admission for Vocational Education – offering about 80-85 vocational courses. Online Submission of Examination Fees. Online Payment Gateway through all credit cards (Master/Visa) of fees for various services of MSOS (Admission/ Examination/ Duplicate documents/ requisition for study materials) Online Registration for On-Demand Examination Online status of dispatch of Identity cards/study materials Online availability of MSOS course materials Online availability of MSOS prospectus Online availability of Study Centre Information Support through Learner Support Centre with toll free no. 18001809393, lsc(at)nos[dot]org On Line Student Information System Admission details Tutor Mark Assignment Online Course Material Syllabus & Sample Question Paper Performance chart Study Centre wise list On Line Counseling through Ask your Teacher Online Accreditation of Schools/Institutions/Agencies for becoming the Accredited Institution of MSOS for Academic, Vocational or Open Basic Education Programme. Areas of Applications Over the years, all the major activities of MSOS both Academic and Administrative have been computerized. Student Database Management The student’s enrolment has grown remarkably over the years. Starting with 40 thousands in 1990-91, the current enrolment during the year 2015-16 has gone up to 510 thousands resulting into a cumulative enrolment of about 2800 thousands. The EDP unit manages the data effectively and efficiently database management is done through Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) Visual FoxPro and SQL Database Server. Various statistical reports and MIS reports are generated and made available to the MSOS Management. Student Information System Starting from registration/admission to the issue of the certificate, all the processes are automated/computerised. The following areas are covered under Student Information System: Admission/Registration Admission in MSOS is now available round the year through Online mode. There are different stream of admission to cater to the different requirement of the learners. Pre-examination After the admission processing is over, the pre-examination data preparation is done. A number of reports are printed such as Requirement of Question paper statement, List of candidates, Attendance sheets, etc. for the conduct of examinations. Result Processing and Certification After the conduct of examinations, the post examinations works begins which includes Secrecy work, Evaluation work and Processing of result. The mark sheets and the final certificates of the students are printed with their photograph. Training Computer Unit is having Training Centre where ICT training are imparted to the staff and officials. The computer Unit has organized various ICT Training programme. MSOS on the Web Internet and Web technology have proved effective in the teaching and learning process especially in the field of Open and Distance Education. With the help of Internet, one has access to information around the world at one’s fingertips. The MSOS has its own web site as www.MSOS.ac.in and has been developed as per the Guidelines of Indian Government Website (GIGW) for dissemination of information about MSOS. E-mail Id to MSOS Officials Official E-mail Id of MSOS officers have been generated and configured on the MSOS web site. A training-cum-orientation programme for the same was organized to help / facilitate the officers to access Internet & their E-mail. A separate link “Ask your teacher” has been provided on the web site to facilitate the student’s support. Students can now directly interact through the E-mail to the specific subject expert and can easily solve their problems/ queries related to their subject area. Different Division of MSOS The MSOS website has been divided into following parts The Information Section About MSOS, its activities, Admission, Examinations, Administration, Media, Seminars, workshops and conferences and their reports, and latest happenings. Online Student Information System for complete information about a learner including the Admission details, Tutor Mark Assignment, Course Material, Syllabus & Sample Question Paper, Previous year Question paper, Performance details. Other National and International institutions of open learning and distance education and hyperlinks to those institutions. Services and Interactivity Results of MSOS examination with student’s photograph Hall Tickets/Admit Cards of MSOS students with student’s photograph Student’s Admission Status Interactivity through E-mail Question papers and marking schemes of MSOS examinations. Syllabus and sample question papers Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) On-line Course Materials All course materials of are available on Internet for reference purpose and to serve the interests of the students and educationists On-Demand Examination System National Institute of Open Schooling has been working on the concept of On-Demand Examination (ODE) at Secondary Level since last one and half year in the area of its feasibility and operationalisation. The novel concept of ODE is a great step in the direction of flexibility to the open and distance learning. This will make the total system of examination independent of the time frame and will help the student to take up the examinations as per their wish and preparation. They can walk into the examination center as and when they feel ready for the examination. Under the System of ODE, a set of question paper having defined number of items is generated randomly by the computer out of the already developed question bank on the basis of question paper design and the blue print of the subject as and when demanded. MSOS has operationalised On-Demand Examination System (ODES) at Secondary in 2005 and and Sr.Secondary level in 2007. It has enabled MSOS students to take up examinations on any day of his or her choice in the subject s/he is ready for. The question paper booklet is of equivalent standard with public examinations of MSOS and other Boards of School Education. Presently, it is conducted at NOIDA and all its Regional Centre for Secondary and Sr. Secondary level. Supervision is done through CCTV. Round the Year Online Admission for On-Demand Examination declared during every month for the exams held in the last month. It is Learner Centric Examination System available round the year.