Thiruvananthapuram: OMR sheets for exams conducted by Kerala Public Service Commission will now be printed at the government presses. The decision to change the printers was made as OMR sheets bought from the private companies in other states were found to be of low quality. The new move is learnt to benefit the exchequer too.
The PSC has approved the OMR dummy prepared by the Printing Department as instructed by the Chief Minister. The printing will be started within two months. It is for the first time in the history of the PSC since its inception that OMR sheets are being printed within the state.
As of now, OMR sheets are acquired from companies in Hyderabad through tender process. A sheet is bought at a price ranging between Rs.1.50 to 2.
However, as the quality of OMR sheets were found inferior, valuation of PSC exams conducted during the last six months has been interrupted.
The OMR machines had ejected about 9,000 sheets of Kerala Administrative Service Examination, as unread. These sheets are now being manually valued by the officials.
In the first phase, OMR sheets will be printed at the Central Press in Thiruvananthapuram and Government Press at Mannanthala.
The press at Mannanthala has two web offset machines which can print 35,000 sheets per hour. The sheets printed here will be taken to the Central Press to ink barcodes.
By December, the printing will be restricted to the Central Press.
Towards this purpose, an order for a five colour sheet-fed offset printing machine with a price tag of Rs. 5 crore has been placed via KIIFB.
The packing and sealing processes can be done without manual involvement once the machine is commissioned.
The Stationery Department has completed the tender process to be given for the Printing Department to print OMR sheets in 75 GSM papers.