In my opinion the SFG program works because of its schedule strictness, lack of casual approach and inculcating time management, competition and discipline in the candidates. ( Some people also try to fight depression with it )
This is usually a neglected part of the preparation strategy.
IMO, having it online will undermine the first thing - that is the problem of cheating and having a false idea of where you actually stand. While most aspirants are serious, a minority ( the 80-20 rule ) indulging in unfair means will ruin the whole ranklist - which is the source of the competition in the first place.
Other aspects like being inflexible also helps getting things done in a time bound manner. Which is why in my opinion the ForumIAS academy team May not want to do it online.
Forum can actually learn from IASMocks who allowed students to give exam only under 2 slots i.e. Morning and evening. Under no circumstances, they allowed any flexibility. Forum can also use such techniques to ensure discipline. It would be of great help if SFG is also made available online this year.
I understand the merit of keeping SFG offline, however, following measures can be considered to keep SFG online for students from hinterlands.
1. Keeping online SFG ranking separate from offline ranking so that it does not skew offline ranking.
2. Making test available only during specific time slot. If the test is of an hour then student can only write it in between 8 AM to 9 AM. The clock can be timed on server.3. Disabling opening any tab/ application while student is writing test. As soon as student switched tab the test should end then and there itself.
4. The bottom 10% elimination can be substituted with some other mechanism in online mode.
There will always be some percentage of students having casual approach both in online and offline mode. All these measures will at least help students who are serious about the preparation.