Dr Krishna Kant Pathak, Secretary, Rajasthan Public Service commission (RPSC)
Established in 1949, Rajasthan Public Service commission (RPSC) is the 7th oldest public service commission in India
Since its formation Rajasthan Public Service commission (http:// rpsc.rajasthan.gov. in) has selected over 2,00,000 candidates for different posts by conducting almost 1000 exams and 5000 interviews of 1,00,00,00 candidates. The PSCs have been established in India to function as constitutional bodies, which can recruit eligible candidates for various civil services and posts in a free and fare manner.
Rajasthan Public Service commission has a unique position among other PSCs, since it has been given the additional responsibility of also devising the selection process for those posts. This additional responsibility leads a huge workload, as it is imperative for the RPSC to fill up all these posts in an efficient, transparent and expeditious manner.
The RPSC has launched its online application portal (https://www.rpsconline.rajasthan.gov. in) in 2011 to find a resolution to the myriad challenges that are there in the manual application process. This online application is unique in the sense that it is the Only Online Application System of India, which features a “Single Window Online Application” process. The candidates do not have to fill any additional form for Bank Challan and go to bank for its deposition.
The candidates can use the e-mitra kiosks/ CSCs for fee deposition and online form submission. The e-mitra kiosks/CSCs also provide the facility of providing print-outs of admit cards, mark sheets, results etc. Candidates are informed through SMS throughout the exam process through the software that is owned by RPSC, hence there are no charges levied on the students.
As it is difficult to remember different Application IDs or Receipt Numbers, RPSC has introduced the ‘Mobile Number wise’ searching facility. This facility is especially useful in case the application ID is not recalled. To make the candidates fully aware of the nitty-gritty’s of the overall process, the RPSC provides Detailed Instruction Manuals in different modes and formats.
The make it even easier for candidates to apply for jobs, RPSC plans to integrate the online system with IVR/e-Sanchar system. This new project is expected to get completed by 2013. A mobile based application is also in pipeline, which will ensure one time registration. There will be no need of filling up new form for every new examination, a candidate will only deposit exam fee and he will be automatically renewed for new examination.
Advantages to candidates
At the time when the online initiative was first launched, more than 100 posts were pending for advertisement and 150 for examinations. Though the OMR (Optical Mark Reader) based Application Forms were also a good option to save manpower and time, the selling and distributing of these forms was a cumbersome task. Even scanning of these forms in RPSC office used to take months, which led to further delays in the overall exam process.
The launch of the online system has enabled RPSC to clear the backlog of pending requisitions and set an expeditious process for further recruitments. While launching the project, RPSC was very clear in its vision that the candidates must be able to apply from anywhere in India. As there were lot of candidates, who may not be aware of this system, prior to launch there was an effective advertisement campaign. Hard copies of information brochure had also been circulated, and FAQs were placed on the website. The FAQs page shows the step-by-step process of online registration in a PPT format.
Managing fee deposition
In the manual process the fees used to be included in the price of application form, so the candidate did not have to go to bank or anywhere else for fee deposition. Most candidates were using the system of Bank Challans. However, the bank challans cannot be used in the online mode as it prevents the system from being a fully online. A challan is not digital, it is made manually like a draft or a cheque. Also, in case of a challan there is likelihood of lot of account reconciliation related issues remaining at the end of application process.
To make the system fully online, RPSC decided to use the e-Mitra/CSC centres, which are already depositing bills for telephone, electricity or water supply. A siteto- site integration was made to avoid any Account Reconciliation related issue. Such site-to-site integration could not have happened with banks. Candidates can deposit the fee online by using payment gateway mechanism of e-Mitra State Portal.
Since e-Mitra/CSC centres were confined to Rajasthan itself, the candidates from outside the state have to use payment gateway mechanism to deposit the examination fee. They also have the option of visiting any CSC/e-Mitra Centre in Rajasthan for depositing their fees. The State of Rajasthan is covered by more than 3500 CSC/e-Mitra Centres, which is almost 10 times more than number of branches of any scheduled bank.
Presently more than 3,500 kiosks in rural area and around 850 kiosks in urban area are working in the State. More than 20 lakh candidates have applied through this on-line application system till now.
Greater security and accountability
RPSC Online portal takes pride in efficient and secure management of end-to-end transactions. The online system is designed to keep track of each step of the transactions. The overall status is visible at every stage. Various modes of delivery are also ensured by email and SMS. Candidates can take print outs of their application, and they can also opt for having a PDF receipt from the portal.
Latest technology is being used to improve the performance and security of the RPSC online portal. The application has been developed in Java with Oracle database at back end. There is 128 SSL based security mechanism. As the system is fully integrated with payment gateway, it eliminates chances of misappropriation. The State data Centre is used as server, which gave maximum capacity without any additional cost. It has all security measures.
CapacityBuilding and Organisational Sustainability
• New Process is leading to a digital age. The candidate or staff of RPSC, are forced to become computer literate
• More than Rs 24 core Revenue has been generated in year 2011-12. This is highest in the history of RPSC. The money that was being spent in distributing, receiving and scanning application forms and delivering admit cards, is now being saved
• Employment generation for more than 3500 e-Mitra/CSC centre holders
• Substantial decrease in legal cases
• No manual application form is now required. This reduces paper consumption for over 20 lakh application forms
• Examination calendar has become more efficient with the online system
Unique features of Online Application System
• Single window system at more than 2000 centres through e-Mitra Centre (Urban Area) and Common Service Centre (CSC) in rural area.
• Totally own software of RPSC and computerised examination process.
• e-mail and SMS integration system for acknowledgement of application, admit card, result and other information’s
• Mobile nowise searching facility
• Picture configuration tool
• Detailed instructions in different modes and formats PDF, PPS & Paper format
• Upgradable to mobile based application (to be executed soon)
Scalability of the Online Project
• During the year 2011-2012 a number of 17.52 Lac applications were received online
• First Single Window System where candidates are also informed through e-mail and SMS on different stages of application and examination
• The RPSC online portal design is so easy that any user who is not acquaint with computers can also feel comfortable with the system
• The FAQs section is self-explanatory and it makes it easier for candidates to understand the step-by-step process.
• Candidates were also allowed to verify their details and indulge in activities like downloading admit cards.