NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force successfully conducted scheduled test for airmen recruitment (STAR) online last week for the first time, the IAF said in a statement today.
A total of 4,09,169 candidates had registered for the online examination for airmen.
The online examination was successfully conducted at 439 centres spread over 102 cities across the country from May 3-6.
This included over 100 centres in the northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir and states which have limited representation in the IAF.
Over 80 per cent of the candidates were allotted centres of their first choice.
The statement said 3,20,678 candidates (78.37 per cent) out of those who had registered appeared for the online test.
The exam was conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) Pune, an organisation functioning under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
"This is the first instance of any of the three services undertaking selection tests online. This makes it easier for candidates across the country to appear for selection accommodating a wider choice of candidates, without having to apply an early filtration necessary in the earlier selection process," the statement added.
In the earlier manual pattern of tests, despite the IAF receiving over four lakh applications, owing to the limitations of testing capacity at the Airmen Selection Centres, only 80,000 to 1 lakh candidates could be called to undergo the written test.
Candidates were, therefore, screened out based on their Class 12 marks, thus denying opportunity to otherwise eligible candidates, the statement added.
In the online test format, all eligible candidates applying for STAR would be tested at examination centres closest to their place of residence.
This would imply a near eight fold increase in the number of candidates who would be tested annually.
"The IAF stands to gain from the larger pool of candidates to choose from, while offering a level playing field to all eligible candidates," the statement added.
The initiative is part of the air headquarters policy to reach out to the best talent to man and service the technology intensive platforms that equip the IAF.