THE SECOND phase of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET-UG) 2022 ran into a major technical snag on Thursday, forcing over 50,000 candidates across the country to return from centres without taking the exam as the National Testing Agency (NTA) failed to upload question papers on time.
The NTA, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, said these candidates would be assigned slots between August 12-14. “The same admit card will be valid for the concerned candidates whose examinations have been postponed,” NTA senior director (exams) Sadhana Parashar said in a statement.
The last date of the second phase of the exam, for which 14.4 lakh candidates have registered, is August 20.
On Thursday, glitches were first reported in 41 centres across 29 cities, affecting about 4,000 candidates who were assigned the morning slot (9 am-12.15 pm). Apart from Delhi and Ladakh, the affected centres were located across 15 states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. These candidates will have to appear for the exam on August 12, the NTA said.
According to reports, many of the affected candidates in the morning slot found out that the exam had been rescheduled only after reaching their centres. “There was no information on the official website. The centre just told us the exam was cancelled. Later, a friend showed me the notice on Twitter,” said Ronojoy Mukherjee, who was supposed to take the exam at a centre in Noida.
D P Singh, who accompanied his daughter Sakshi to an exam centre in Faridabad, said: “We kept waiting till 10.30 am. Then they started allowing the students to enter. But just halfway into the process, they suddenly announced the paper had been cancelled and we would receive an email”.
Later in the day, the glitches took a turn for the worse, washing out the entire second slot (3-6.45 pm), affecting all 489 centres across the country where about 50,000 candidates had registered, said an NTA official. “In the second slot, all 61 papers were affected. They couldn’t be uploaded on time,” said the official.
“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 NTA said in a statement. Stating that these candidates will be allotted a new date, between August 12 and 14, it said that if the dates are “not suitable, the candidates can send an e-mail to email@example.com, mentioning their desired date and roll number”.
Besides, instances of candidates being unable to finish their paper due to technical snags were also reported. Several students at the centre in Delhi University complained that they couldn’t complete the “general test paper”.
“Due to technical difficulties, the general test questions did not appear on the screen. We sat there for five hours but couldn’t attempt the paper. Most people couldn’t submit their answers. We will have to sit for the entire paper again later, which will be informed later,” said Harsh Choudhary, a candidate.
Another student, Garima Shreya, said she could not take the test even during the first phase, held July 15-20, due to technical problems. “This was my third attempt, after server issues in July. Now I will be appearing for the exam a fourth time with no certainty of the date,” she said.
So far, the NTA has allowed 19 candidates who missed the CUET-UG in July due to last-minute changes in examination centres to sit for a retest.
Meanwhile, the NTA also announced early Thursday that the CUET-UG exams scheduled between August 4-6 in Kerala had been postponed due to heavy rains.
The CUET-UG scores will be used by 90 universities — 44 Centre-run, 12 state government-run, 21 private and 13 deemed – to admit students to undergraduate degree courses in the 2022-23 session.