Ashok Basnet, CEO & Co-Founder of Mantra Ideas, whose app LokSewa Nepal has been nominated for the mBillionth Award South Asia 2015, in the M-Education and Learning category. LokSewa Nepal is a mobile and web based solution for preparing for the Lok Sewa examination conducted by the Public Service Commission, Nepal. The app provides notices, notes, practice questions, online tests and other materials for this exam and is available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, where it has been downloaded by more than 50,000 users and has got a 4.2 rating.
Basnet was inspired to get LokSewa Nepal going because after graduation, a lot of his friends were trying to get government jobs and his family was urging him to do the same. He saw that there was no platform available to prepare for these jobs, so he teamed up with his friends, Hem Shrestha and Ram Hari Regmi, to start on this idea to help people prepare for government jobs. It helped him in another way too – he was more interested in doing something on his own, rather than a regular 10-5 kind of job. This project was his way of making his own destiny and about adding value to other people’s lives.
Basnet told NetworkedIndia (NI), “There were no websites/apps that would provide a complete guide to government jobs when we started. We researched a lot in the beginning. There were huge number of Facebook pages regarding Lok Sewa preparation, but they were not providing enough information on the subject matter required by the Public Service Commission, Nepal.”
“The major challenge was the lack of availability of content. There is not much digital content available on the Internet. People were not much aware of mobile based education/learning. So we struggled a lot to get those initial users to use our app and website, to prepare for government exams. We started collecting books, newspapers, old question banks, and set up a team to feed all that data in.”
He added, “We launched our Facebook page and started developing the website and android app simultaneously. As Android users were growing rapidly in Nepal, we saw a huge opportunity in the mobile space. So, the Android app was launched in November 2014.” These features of the app have ensured that users have found it useful:
- Up to date notices from Public Service Commission, Nepal
- Question bank of various subjects
- General knowledge related articles and news
- Syllabus of various government related subjects
- Yearly calendar and forms for entering into Lok Sewa service
- Practice questions for different government posts such as Section Officer, Computer Engineer, Civil Engineer, NA. SU, Kharidar, Computer Officer, Computer Operator, Staff Nurse
- Model sets to improve time-based learning
- Subjective questions and answers
- 11,000 + questions on various topics
- Play Hangman (Learn by playing) – this is the latest addition
- Current Affairs section to stay updated
- Get Questions from Gorkhapatra published on Wednesday every week
- Offline mode
Also, it allows users to study from the convenience of their home and practice anytime, anywhere by using their smartphone. This means no expensive coaching classes. Also, the app’s timely push notifications help them get updated notices regarding vacancies, results, and exam centres. The app also provides candidates with the latest information regarding news and current affairs, related to government jobs. This is also available through their Facebook page and blog.
Then they are able to practice from more than 10,000 questions, at different levels of government jobs. Basnet explained, “Recently, we launched a feature of model tests with a timer, which will provide a virtual examination model, that will help users to analyse how well are they doing in a time-based environment.” So, in short, it lets you practice, monitor, and analyse your performance.
So except for mobile data charges incurred by the user, this has proven to be the cheapest way to prepare for government jobs, as there are no hidden costs. Besides, an offline feature is also available for people with no regular access to a good Internet connection, so they can also prepare for these exams.
Basnet said, “When I see anyone using our product in their daily life, I feel very blessed to able to create value in their life. It gives our team the energy to make the product even better and accessible to more people. We were the first to launch an Android app that helped people prepare for government exams. It was a new way of learning.”
He added, “Most of our users are from remote places, where they need to pay a good amount of money to institutes to compete with others. We launched our iOS app recently and are planning a Windows app too.”