Yet another postponement! The first day of the fourth phase of the common university entrance test (CUET) was once again marred by technical glitches forcing the National Testing Agency (NTA) to cancel exams at 13 centres, most of them in Delhi. According to the NTA, the exams of 8,693 affected candidates shall be conducted on August 25.
From the very beginning, the CUET for undergraduate admissions has been facing several technical glitches, due to which the NTA has had to postpone many exams during the first three phases. On August 4, all exams scheduled for the evening were cancelled at all 489 centres across the country, and 50 and 53 centres were affected on August 5 and 6.
In a statement released, the NTA said, “Due to unavoidable technical reasons, examinations scheduled for August 17, the first day of the fourth phase–were cancelled in 13 centres. Of the total of 145,885 candidates, 8,693 were affected.” Of these 13 centres, eight are in Delhi, two in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh each, and one in Haryana. Meanwhile, students were in lurch over the last-minute cancellation of exams.
On August 7, University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said there were indications of “sabotage” in the conduct of the exam and that tests at certain centres were cancelled for the good of students. Kumar said strict action will be taken against anyone involved in “wilful sabotage” of the process.
The CUET is the common gateway for undergraduate admissions to all central universities. A total of 3.6 lakh candidates are eligible to appear for the fourth phase scheduled from August 17 to August 20. The exam for additional 11,000 candidates, who were to appear in the fourth phase from August 17-20, has been postponed to August 30 to accommodate their choice of city for centre.
According to the initial plan, all phases of the CUET-UG were scheduled to conclude on August 20. However, the National Testing Agency (NTA), which is responsible for conducting the exam, later announced that all phases of the exam would conclude on August 28.
However, now the schedule has been further deferred and the exam has been split into six phases. The second phase of CUET was marred by glitches prompting the agency to cancel the exam at various centres.
UGC chairman Jagadesh Kumar said, “Due to some unavoidable technical reasons, examinations scheduled for today (August 17) were cancelled in 13 centres in Shift 1 and Shift 2. A total of 8,693 candidates were affected out of 1.45 lakh candidates. All the affected candidates will get a chance for a retest on August 25.”
With so many glitches, one after another, is surely not good for the students for they are now worried about their admissions. Delayed start to the session will further delay the entire curriculum. Government should have given a dry run to CUET before rushing-in. At the end of the day it’s the student and the parents who go through the agony of wait and watch!