Computerised tests for train drivers by Rlys
New Delhi, DHNS: May 31, 2013
In order to curb human error in train operation and reduce accidents, the Indian Railways will expand the use of computerised mental ability tests for drivers prior to their deployment on long distance trains. In India, currently 43 per cent of railway accidents have human error behind them.
The improved psycho-physical tests are also to be used for Assistant Station Masters to ascertain their mental abilities in coping with the challenges of safety and security.
Lucknow based Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) is developing these in-house psychological tests for safety performance of operating staff to do away with imported tests.
Cause-wise analysis indicates that 42 per cent of accidents took place due to failure of railway staff, 43 per cent due to failure of other than railway staff, 7 per cent due to sabotage, 3 per cent each due to failure of equipment and incidental and balance,1 per cent each due to combination of factors and non-establishment of cause.
Thus, a large chunk of accidents is on account of human failure.
The ministry is completely computerising aptitude testing and introducing changes in testing pattern currently being used for safety performance.
Eight assessment centres with biometric security system are also being set up across the country to screen loco pilots.
To enrich testing methods, new tests of depth perception and perceptual speed for measuring critical cognitive attributes of drivers and Assistant Station Masters(ASMs) having bearing on safety performance have recently been developed.
Currently drivers for high speed trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, having speed more than 110 km per hour are screened through indigenously developed Computer Aided Drivers Aptitude tests.
This includes 17 tests for assessment of psycho-physical cognitive and personality attributes imperative for the job.
The tests measure specific abilities related to the job such as Reaction Time, Form Perception, Vigilance and Speed anticipation.
So far about 1500 drivers have been screened through this system