Sandhya Soman

"The process is almost foolproof and encourages transparency"

CHENNAI: They timed their tests and came online after the cricket match got over. This is how a majority of bankers wrote their promotion test for the first time recently by logging onto the Internet at Sify iWays.

If officers of Indian Overseas Bank could log in at their convenience and complete their scale I to II promotion test, the organiser of the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) says that taking the online route has helped in cutting costs.

"We could also offer faster and instant evaluation," he said.

The latest chapter in writing, conducting and evaluating examinations or tests online on a large scale is being offered by Chennai-based Sify Limited with its online examination engine iTest.

It helped 867 IOB officers to simultaneously take their promotion test from 123 iWays across 47 cities.

Says Dipan Bhattacharyya, Senior Vice-President, Sify's Enterprise Solutions, "We have been offering the online examination facility for the past three years. The Indian Institute of Banking Finance and IBPS are our clients, apart from various BPOs who use our services to conduct recruitment tests."

The backbone of the service is its 3,300 Internet centres.

However, Mr. Bhattacharyya says the increasing number of iWays is just one more reason aiding the process, which is almost foolproof and encourages transparency factors relevant in these times of widespread question paper leakage and other malpractices.

The company is now readying to rope in professional bodies that churn out chartered accountants and managers.

"We have approached the IIMs," says Mr. Bhattacharyya. More investment would be made to enable 1 lakh students to hit the answer buttons at the same time at iWays equipped with surveillance cameras.

Eventually, "we would like to scale it up to include the educational institutions," he adds.