The Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) is gearing up to conduct common recruitment tests for posts which require the same basic qualification. The decision has been made to expedite the recruitment process and reduce the number of examinations held every year.

At present, nearly 200 examinations are held in various centres across the State on Saturdays through the year. Making arrangements to conduct multiple examinations a day has been found to be exacting and expensive. At times, the commission will have to conduct more than five examinations a day, causing duplication of tasks and additional expenses coming to lakhs. By switching over to common tests, the commission will be able to save time and expenses and drastically ease the workload.

Sources in the commission told The Hindu that common examinations had been proposed for the posts of assistant surgeon, which had MBBS as the basic qualification, deputy collector, block development officer, junior employment officer and assistant in the Secretariat, the PSC and various companies and corporations.

Common notifications with examination dates for such posts have been proposed. A separate rank list will be prepared for every department. Candidates will be given the right to opt for the departments they prefer. The selection will be made on the basis of the options given by the candidates.

As a preliminary step, common tests are being conducted for recruiting village men and last grade staff to various departments. The commission received 11.75 lakh applications for the posts. It was decided to conduct two examinations each in all 14 districts from June. But for the examination postponed from July 5 owing to a hartal, all others are being held as per schedule and will be over by October. The same model will be followed in the case of other posts, starting with the examination for selecting assistant surgeons in the Health Department and medical officers in the insurance sector.

Since the government has fixed March 31 as the unified retirement date of government employees every year, reporting vacancies in time has become imperative. The commission will get a clear idea about the vacancies and hence conducting such examinations will be easy, sources said.