The Indian Railways has replaced bulky, multi-lingual question booklets with online tests for its recruitment process, resulting in a green initiative that has helped saved four lakh trees and 319 crore paper sheets. The three-phase online examination covering preliminary, written and aptitude and typing skill test is a first of its kind for the state-run transporter. Aiming at eliminating the scope for malpractices in its recruitment process, Railways had conducted the world’s largest online examination at 351 centres for 92 lakh candidates to fill up over 14,000 vacancies in various categories as part of the ambitious recruitment reforms.
Out of the 92 lakh candidates, 2.73 lakh qualified the preliminary exam and were called for online written test for Assistant Station Masters and clerical jobs on January 17-19 this year. Now about 45,000 candidates, qualified for the third and final test, appeared for psychological and typing skill test on June 29 and 30, said a senior Railway Ministry official. Because of the digital transformation, both these tests could be completed in a day each whereas in conventional mode these would have taken about two months time.
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The online test has resulted in substantial saving of time and resources while at the same time bringing transparency in the recruitment process. Earlier, recruitment examinations used to be conducted manually, but the railways had to abandon the manual system and opt for online mode after a few alleged incidents of question paper leak. Describing it as the “largest online examination in the world”, the official said that in order to ensure complete transparency, the railways have introduced the system of showing answer papers online to examinees one week after the examination. About 14,000 selected candidates would be called for documents verification in September and finally they would be joining duties before Diwali this year.