SSC exam may soon be made online

The examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) may soon be made online, if a recommendation of the expert group set up to review the SSC examination system is accepted.

The expert group, constituted by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) on February 13 this year under the chairmanship of former UPSC member I M G Khan, has in its report made several recommendations for improvement in the current SSC examination system, including making it online.

Three working groups set up earlier this month to deliberate on recommendations of the expert group have now submitted suggestions on the national screening test and technology related issues, awareness campaign, and issues relating to Central armed force recruitment. The DoPT on Wednesday invited comments on suggestions of the working groups within the next 10 days.

The working group on national screening test & technology has recommended that online exam be introduced without further delay, apart from compulsory online registration (with a delayed start for the northeast region) and web and mobile app-based application system. While backing online SSC examination, the group called for assessment of infrastructure and whether private agencies, universities, engineering colleges etc are to be used for setting up physical exam infrastructure. To rule out irregularities, it is recommended that SSC/government exercise control over examination technology environment such as data centres, servers and workstations.

In the marking system, mandatory negative marking has been suggested, apart from normalization of score. Besides, to ensure transparency, uploading of marks, result, question papers, scanned answer papers and answer keys is recommended.

The working group on issues relating Cental Armed Police forces (CAPFs) has suggested that SSC should not conduct examination for posts for which academic qualification is less than 10+2. Also, CAPFs may be allowed to conduct recruitment of constable (general duty) if approved by MHA. If not, 60% of recruitment can be done by SSC on online exam basis, while 40% vacancies may be filled by CAPF from border and Left-wing extremism-hit districts on application basis or rally system. For the latter, a nodal CAPF Recruitment Board may be set up under an additional DG-rank officer.

The group also suggested that technology be used to increase transparency in recruitment through inclusion of biometrics at every stage, digital height-weight-chest measurement with webcam display, CCTV recording of events and online validation of data, etc.
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