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AP Public Service Commission exams go digital, tests on tablets


Government job aspirants in Andhra Pradesh will take up the APPSC recruitment tests using tablets, thanks to the new digital initiative to do away with answer sheets. The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) has virtually revolutionised the examination process for various state government cadre posts by going fully digital.

Tablets have replaced the conventional question papers for recruitment tests related to Group-1, Group-2, Group-3 and other cadres in the state government and the written answer sheets of Group-1 mains are scanned and digitally evaluated. The Commission has also made it simpler and easier for the candidates by introducing a one-time registration process for applying to all notified posts based on their qualification. Impressed by its neighbour’s initiative, the Tamil Nadu government decided to emulate the APPSC in conducting its own recruitment tests.

“This is the first time in the country that we have revolutionised the whole process by going paperless and introducing online examinations. The new system ensures complete transparency, leaving no scope for any malpractice, while also eliminating a lot of logistics burden connected with the recruitment exams,” APPSC Secretary PSR Anjaneyulu, IPS, told to Hello Vizag.

“On Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s directions, we studied the pattern followed by institutions like IIT and IIM in conducting the examinations. We then streamlined our recruitment process to remove the problems encountered previously,” he said. “We have thus come up with the path-breaking digital initiatives like carbonless OMR barcoded answer sheets for objective type exams,” Anjaneyulu, who devised the new system, explained.

Importantly, it also cuts down vastly on the time taken to complete the recruitment examinations and leaves little room for possible litigation. The APPSC has outsourced prime tasks like question paper setting to an internationally reputed professional agency, with anonymity being the key. The agency is also responsible for fixing the examination centres, mapping of the candidates and supplying them with Tabs under the direct supervision of the Commission authorities.

On an average, about 60,000 candidates appear for the Group-1 preliminary exam and about 10,000 for the mains. For Group-2 and others, the number will be over two lakh. Hitherto, upon issuing a notification for any recruitment, the Commission used to appoint professors from different universities in the country for setting up the question papers. The question paper manuscripts were then moderated and translated into Telugu and other necessary languages before they are printed. Different sets of question papers were required to be printed and the actual one used to be selected by draw of lots on the day of the examination.

“Dispatching these question papers in sealed cartons in large numbers to the districts with police security and then keeping them in safe custody and finally delivering them to the exam centres all this was an onerous task. All these risks are eliminated in the digital mode and complete security and transparency is ensured as there is no scope for any leakage at any stage,” Anjaneyulu said.

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