KOTTAYAM: The Motor Vehicles Department’s (MVD) decision to conduct the learner’s licence tests online has invited criticism from various quarters, including from the regional transport officers. Many argue that the new method lacks a fool-proof system to avoid malpractices during the test, which in turn affects its efficiency.
As per a June 29 order issued by Transport department principal secretary K R Jyothilal, the government has directed officers in regional transport offices to ensure facilities for applicants to appear for the online test from their own homes using a computer or mobile phone. The order, which directed the officers to conduct the test online until further notice, said learners’ licence shall be sent to candidates online. Applicants can use the licence after taking its print-out. The decision has been taken in view of how Covid-19 has hindered the licence issuing process across the state.
However, according to some officers, permitting applicants to appear for the tests at their respective homes or offices may give them an opportunity to resort to malpractices. “Under the existing system, the exam is conducted either at the MVD office or an exam hall under the direct supervision of MVD officials. If it is shifted to houses or other places, we can’t ensure that the original candidate is appearing for the exam. We can’t ensure candidates do not seek assistance from somebody else or refer any textbook while attending the exam,” said an officer, on condition of anonymity.
In addition, the MVD officers can directly verify the physical status of the applicant to ensure that the person is physically fit for driving, while coming to the MVD office for the exam. “If RT offices are not capable of conducting tests online, the gover nment can seek the possibility of roping in authorised online testing centres. Instead, awarding licences without ensuring the candidates’ knowledge on traffic rules may lead to a rise in road accidents, affecting the safety of the public,” said the officer.