NEW DELHI: Sitting in his office building on Lodhi road in Delhi, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) Chairman Ashim Khurana can at the click of a button now watch any of the 2.25 Crore candidates appearing this year across the country for the various computer-based exams conducted by one of the largest recruiting agencies of the Government of India.
This is a rare monitoring mechanism now available for a government body in India. In May, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS iON) set up this Art Command Centre at SSC which was inaugurated by P.K. Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. This was in follow-up to TCS taking over the entire job at SSC this year of conducting Computer Based Recruitment Examinations pan-India through its comprehensive TCS iON network and modern infrastructure. For SSC, which was in news for all the wrong reasons last year over leakage of question papers of one of its exams and the matter reaching even the Supreme Court, the technology intervention aims to settle all doubts over the fairness of the system.
“The SSC Command Centre will enable the Commission to track the movement of each and every candidate appearing in its examinations, at any examination venue, across the country, at the click of a button. The Command Centre provides effective levers of control to the Officers of the Commission to ensure the seamless conduct of the Examination, by empowering them to intervene and issue proactive instructions, real time, for any shortcomings or deficiencies observed, warranting immediate corrective action”, the SSC Chairman Ashim Khurana told ET. About 95 lakh candidates were monitored under this system in the last 6 months.
Venguswamy Ramaswamy, Global Head TCS iON told ET that there is a considerable challenge in India due to high number of cases of attempted impersonation, paper leakages and hacking of systems. “TCS iON has put in place a very robust technology platform that is enabling SSC to conduct exams in a very safe and secure environment. TCS iON has assessed more than 170 million candidates for multiple sets of customers in the last 7 years. This has helped us create and evolve a deep set of best practices to conduct the exam and prevent malpractices. Every click of the candidate is logged and can be traced,” Ramaswamy said.
At a click of a button, you can know which candidate is taking an exam in which exam venue, he said. “More than 130 exam parameters are monitored and this now gives SSC a very strong monitoring capability,” Ramaswamy said. He explains that the TCS iON exam centres are completely covered by CCTV – from the entry, the exam hall and each camera maps to an X number of candidates with the mapping made available in the command centre – this enables SSC to be able to track exactly what is happening in the exam. “Every candidate gives a biometric, entry and exit in some cases to ensure same candidate who entered in, walks out,” Ramaswamy said. Detailed logs are made available for audit trails, he added. “Entire software platform for exam conduct has been provided by us, the question paper is created by us in a very safe and secure encrypte