The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 9 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Clear online test, drive on road

The district transport office is working on a war footing to start online examination next week for issuing learners’ licence to drivers .

The groundwork is taking shape on the fourth floor of Biscomaun Towers, which has been selected by the state transport department as the exam venue. Officials said six applicants can appear in a single session where they would have to answer 10 multiple-choice questions.

The questions, to be answered in 30 seconds, would be related to points such as traffic rules, driving signs and vehicle control (see graphics).

“The online learners’ driving licence test would be conducted in a room on the fourth floor of Biscomaun Towers. Most of the groundwork, including installation of computers and power lines, has been done. The furniture are being set up now. We are also waiting for the delivery of the software to be used for the test from the National Informatics Centre. Once the software is delivered, principal secretary, transport, will review the set-up. The inauguration of online examination is expected in a week’s time,” Dinesh Kumar Rai, district transport officer, Patna, told The Telegraph on Tuesday.

Late December 2012, the transport department had set a deadline of January 15 to start the online examination.

Rai added the computer operators who would supervise the online test are being trained. Once an applicant qualifies in the online test, a certified copy of the learners’ licence with a unique number would be generated. The candidate would then have to take a print out of the learners’ licence and use if for 21 days to six months by when he/she has to apply for a permanent driving licence.

This is the first time such an online learners’ licence test will be conducted in the state.

“We did not follow a system to check the basic driving skills of a person before granting him/her learner’s licence. This is the first time we are doing this to ensure better road safety. This would also reduce the delivery time of learner’s licences. Against the current practice of delivery within seven days, the licence would be delivered in a day or two,” added Rai.

Applicants welcomed the transport department’s move. “This system of applying and getting learners’ driving licence is a good initiative of the government as it would make the entire procedure hassle free. It would save time as well as money,” said Dakbungalow Road resident Pravin Kumar.

For the online test, applicants would not have to shell out extra money. The charges — Rs 70 for single category vehicle (light motor vehicle or heavy motor vehicle) and Rs 140 for multiple categories (light motor vehicle and heavy motor vehicle) — would be the same.