IAF conducts online selection tests for airmen

Indian Air Force conducted its first online selection test for airmen this year. The Scheduled Test for Airmen Recruitment (STAR) was conducted through online tests in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) Pune. 

This is the first instance of any of the three services undertaking selection tests online, which makes it easier for aspiring candidates across the country to appear for the selections, without having to apply an early filtration necessary in the earlier selection process. 
This year 409,169 candidates appeared for the selection tests at 439 centres in 102 cities across the country, including 100 centres in the north eastern states, J&K and states, which have limited representation in the IAF. 
Over 80 per cent of the candidates were allotted centres of their first choice and 320,678 candidates (78.37 per cent) of those who had registered appeared for the online test.
In the previous manual pattern of tests, despite the IAF receiving over 4 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 based on their class 12 marks. In the online test format, all eligible candidates applying for STAR could be tested at examination centres closest to their place of residence, an almost eight-fold increase in the number of candidates who could be tested annually. This enables the IAF to select from a larger pool of candidates while offering a level playing field to all eligible candidates.
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. 
Apart from increased transparency and cost reduction, the initiative will help the IAF reach out to the youth in remote corners of the country and help them participate in the selection. 
Being the first of its kind initiative, the conduct of the examination was closely monitored.