Railways’ online exam helps save 4 lakh trees and 319 crore paper sheets

Indian Railways

Conducting a nationwide paperless examination is not an easy task. The Indian Railways (IR)—in a massive saving drive—has saved over 4 lakh trees and 319 crore paper sheets just by adopting online test by replacing bulky, multi-lingual question booklets.

IR conducted three-phase online examination covering preliminary, written and aptitude and typing skill test. This seems to be a first of its kind for the state-run transporter at such scale. Aiming at eliminating the scope for malpractices in its recruitment process, IR 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. 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. 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.