Under this, all processes starting from filing applications to the publication of results of the various tests would be completely online, sources said. The tests would be conducted in all the major cities in the State besides one centre in New Delhi for more than three lakh applicants who appear for various exams every year.
Previously, the Commission had initiated an online exam in 2018. However, it was postponed due to technical issues.
“The objective of holding the examination online is to provide a fair, secure and transparent test, and reduce the cycle time and publish the results at the earliest,” a senior TNPSC official told DT Next.
Depending on the scheme of examination, the number of questions in the online objective type test would vary from 50 to 200, and the duration would be between 30 minutes to 3 hours, the official said. The examination would be conducted in one or more shifts per day, he added.
He said the examination plan and design would have complete security management processes, including physical, information, server and network security.
The work involves maintaining data of the tentative centre-wise number of candidates one month before the examination, producing soft copy of applications, preparing questions, appointing observers and inspection staff, printing hall tickets and generating merit list.
“Mapping applicant details with exam centres, validation of identity (Aadhaar biometric), security parameters, sending bulk, individualised SMS and emails, and helpdesk will be fully online,” said the official
The implementing agency would ensure that the right candidate sits in front of the allocated system and there would be a mechanism to flag suspicious movement by a candidate attending the test.
The official said that if the computer malfunctions during the examination, there would be a mechanism to enable the candidate to continue without any data loss.
After conducting online exams and uploading the candidate responses from all the examination centres, the private agency would ensure that the encrypted details of applicants’ performance are stored safely in more than one data centre.
“After demonstrating system test run by December, the TNPSC is likely to implement the online exam system by January 2021,” added the official.