The Staff Selection Commission has recently notified a number of changes in the examination pattern of its flagship combined graduate level exam for 2016. Apart from reducing the number of questions in tier I and introducing a descriptive paper in tier III of the exam, the most prominent change that has been implemented is the introduction of online examination in both tier I and tier II whereas the descriptive paper will be conducted in pen and paper mode. It has been a long demand from many candidates that the exam should be made online just like IBPS exams since that is more fair and transparent. But there is the other side of the coin too. We shall try to make an evaluation of the pros and cons of the newly introduced online exam system in SSC CGL
SSC CGL: Online Exam is a step to transparency
As the SSC CGL exam will be online from this year, let us see what the few good things about it are as the fates of lakhs of candidates depend on the result of this examination. Every year, lakhs of candidates apply for this job and prepare to the best of their abilities in order to succeed in this prestigious exam
- Online Exam is fairer: It has been a common thing with SSC that the exam process has often being charged with being not fair or accused of nepotism or being unfair. Online exam is fairer in every respect since the human intervention will be minimal in this mode of exam. This makes it difficult for students to adopt any unfair means and the authority will also not be able to manipulate any fact
- Online Exam brings more transparency: This is true about bank and IBPS exams as these exams are considered very transparent because of apt handling of the examination process. With SSC becoming online, this will also be a very transparent examination as the authorities will have nothing to hide from the candidates
- Online Exam means less administrative work: This is a boon for the exam conducting authority as online exam means it will not take monumental human effort to check the answer scripts. The result will be observed in less time being taken in declaring the results of the exam
- Less chances of human error: To err is human and one small mistake in this exam can ruin the life of a number of candidates. An online exam will minimize this chance as human interference will be less and the whole process will become less prone to errors
- Fast declaration of results: Candidates are often worried about results after taking an examination since their future depends on the results. Online exam will ensure that results are declared fast and with accuracy. The whole process takes more than a year now and after that, the joining formalities take another year making it very frustrating for candidates to wait. Conducting online exam will take care of this
SSC CGL Online: Is India Ready for the challenge?
Though many have welcomed the move to conduct this examination online from 2016, there are apprehensions as well regarding the success of implementing this scheme.
- Logistics is a challenge: For online examination, SSC needs to take care of things such as arranging for computers and colleges that may offer the facility. This is a challenge for the organization since the number of candidates is huge for this exam and arranging everything for the candidates properly is going to be a tough test for SSC
- Lack of experience in conducting online exam for SSC: SSC CGL is one of the biggest exams in India and lakhs of candidates appear in this exam. Conducting this online without having much experience can be fatal for SSC. SSC needs to study the successful models followed by IBPS or other experienced organizations in order to implement this online exam scheme without any hiccup
- Advantage urban candidates: Practicing mock tests in the real exam interface is one of the main things to succeed in any exam. With the rural and urban divide in the country still prominent, rural candidates without much exposure to computers or online exam system, may find it difficult to succeed in this exam this time
SSC is trying to conduct CGL in a way that will ensure that the whole process is fair and transparent. At the same time, it is trying to reduce the total time taken to finish the whole process of the examination that is well over one year for now. Introducing an online exam is one way to achieve this desired result, but at the same time, it needs to be kept in mind that online exam is the not the panacea for everything, better administrative handling and sincerity is also required. This is a step in sync with the Digital India programme launched by the PM, however it is to be seen whether SSC will be able to pull it off properly