Keeping up with the current times, the Indian Air Force has gone digital by moving the selection and recruitment test for its Airmen or non-officer ranks, to an online platform.
For the first time, an Indian military service has conducted an online selection test for its recruitment process which saw the participation of a total of 4,09,169 candidates from 439 centres in 102 cities across the country.
The Scheduled Test for Airmen Recruitment (STAR) was piloted online successfully from May 3 to 6 and was a collaboration between the IAF and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) Pune, a government organisation under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
According to a statement released by the IAF, this step made it easier for candidates to apply and appear for the selection process.
Keeping the limited representation from states like Jammu and Kashmir and those in the North Eastern region, over 100 centres were specifically instated in these areas.
It is believed that on an average, the IAF receives over 4 lakh applications, which is much higher than the employment scope for the Airmen Selection Centres. To make the selection process even more seamless, the first level of screening has now been rendered down to the Class 12 marks of the applicants.
The online STAR process also gives eligible candidates the opportunity to opt for examination centres of their choice.
According to The Asian Age, over 80 percent of the candidates were allocated centres of their first choice, out of which 3,20,678 registered candidates appeared for the online test.
What makes this shift a sensible idea is that the process is not only a cost-effective solution for the IAF but also showcases transparency and equity as it reaches out to aspirants who come from the farthest corners of the country.
The first-of-its-kind initiative was monitored by higher officials at the Air Headquarters and Command Headquarters and was greatly appreciated by Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, the Chief of the Air Staff.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)