New Delhi: The second phase of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) was marked by technical glitches on its first two days, 4 and 5 August, with students complaining that they weren’t informed about changes in the examination schedule on time.
The CUET — which has made its debut this year — has been envisaged as a common gateway for undergraduate admissions in all central universities and other institutes.
In a statement issued Thursday, the National Testing Agency (NTA) — the agency that’s conducting the test — said it was putting off the 4 August exam until next Friday for certain centres.
“Due to various administrative and technical reasons, the CUET (UG) — 2022 examination scheduled for 04 August 2022 (first shift) has been postponed to 12 August 2022 for 29 examination centres in 17 states”.
“Further, because of technical reasons, the question paper for the second shift of the examination could only be uploaded at 5 pm, and the download at 489 centres could start at 5.25 pm, while the exam was scheduled to begin from 3 pm,” the statement said.
The NTA said based on reports from “observers/city coordinators” on the ground, the second shift scheduled from 3 to 6 pm was cancelled and will be conducted between 12 and 14 August.
In another statement Friday, the NTA announced it was postponing exams that were to be held at 20 centres Friday morning and at 30 centres in the afternoon after technical glitches were reported for the second consecutive day.
Candidates, however, complained that not only were they not informed in time about the change in exam schedule but that, in some cases, they were forced to leave their exams midway because the centres were shut down over technical glitches.
Similar complaints were reported Friday.
Despite complaints about technical glitches Friday, the NTA said in a statement that “exams are going on smoothly at 95 per cent of the centres across the country”.
In its statement Thursday, the NTA had said: “In case 12-14 August is not suitable for candidates they will be provided an examination slot on further dates.
With 14.9 lakh registrations, the CUET is now the second-biggest entrance exam in the country, surpassing the JEE Mains average registration of 9 lakh. The first phase of the exams was conducted between 15 and 20 July.
Sangeeta Kumari, a 17-year-old student from Rajasthan’s Barmer and a Delhi University aspirant, said she travelled 200 km to her exam centre in Jodhpur on 4 August only to find out that the test had been cancelled.
“My father and I left early to reach the centre on time. Upon arriving, we saw a notice at the gate that said that the exam had been cancelled,” she said.
Some students also complained that they couldn’t complete their tests because the server was down. Yatish Singh, an under-19 cricket player for Delhi, told ThePrint that he was asked to leave the exam hall before the time was up.
“My exam [centre] was at Sector 64, Noida. The exam was supposed to start at 9 am but it started at 10.30 am. Just when I finished my exam they announced that the exam is cancelled and that we need to take it again. No information was given and no dates were given,” he said.
Dinesh Vigyan, who took his sister to an exam centre in Noida Friday, said they waited for 4-5 hours for the test to start but it was finally cancelled. There were over 1,000 students at the exam centre, Vigyan told ThePrint.
With inputs from Kritika Sharma
(This is an updated story)
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)