Thiruvananthapuram: Valuation of Kerala Administrative Service exam has turned out to be troublesome for Kerala Public Service Commission. Optical Mark Reader (OMR) answer sheets of 9,000 candidates could not be valuated through the machines. The machines could not read the low quality OMR sheets purchased at a low price under competitive tender.
The commission has therefore decided to entrust its employees for manual valuation of the sheets. For the purpose, 15 of its officers are specially deployed to the online examination center at the PSC headquarters.
It is for the first time in its history that PSC has to value this many answer sheets of an examination manually.
The answer sheets were bought from a company in Hyderabad. The machine can read only those sheets which have prescribed features. Weight, width, length of the sheets, ink, distance between two sheets and several other features are the deciding factors. An answer sheet scanned in a machine will be rescanned in another. If there is a difference of three marks in the valuations, the answer sheet will be valuated manually.
Earlier, OMR sheets were purchased from the same company which manufactures the machine. However, six months ago, this company was delisted and the sheets were purchased from a Hyderabad-based company.
About 3.5 lakh people had appeared for the KAS examination. This many papers were found unread as the valuation process reached the half way mark. If more sheets are not scanned by machines in the coming days, the valuation process cannot be finished within this month.