NEW DELHI: The delay due to the extension by another eight days of the CUET-UG schedule following examination cancellation at several centres last week because of technical glitches, has affected thousands of students. The results of the examination—supposed to end on 20 August—will determine admissions to the central universities this year. Now, it has tentatively been postponed to 24 to 28 August.
In a video that, over the week, went viral on social media, an 18-year-old student said: “At a National Testing Agency (NTA) centre, there is an examination of CUET, there are six floors filled with over 1,000 students, but there is not a single NTA member present.”
In the backdrop of a tech revolution that India has been experiencing, a series of computer-related glitches have not only delayed Common University Entrance Test for undergraduate courses (CUET-UG), but have also impacted crucial other exam-oriented plans of the students. The Sunday Guardian reached out to Advit Upadhyay, the student who was at the centre of the viral video. Upadhyay said, “The delay not only affected my preparations, it also impacted a lot of my other academic plans that I had made for college and other entrance examinations. I had prioritised studies for the CUET over other examinations that I was going to have later on.”
According to students, the NTA centres are poorly equipped with human resource, as preparations to hold the examinations by the NTA centres are inadequate—there were no to-do guidelines in place for the examination day. Upadhyay further added, “Considering the fact that CUET was supposed to be on 5 August, suddenly I was told that the examination has been postponed. Had I known it before, I would have prepared for those examinations and not the CUET. My time was wasted as I was not able to use the day in preparation for other examinations.”
Expressing fear, a student said: “We have genuine fear about whether we will be able to write the examinations or not? When will they start? When will my college start?”
The examinees also said that for the students whose examination was scheduled to be on 15 July, they were informed about the test just four days before the examination day. They said this was unjust for them as they couldn’t prepare properly.
“Besides, it was like the dates were decided suddenly, and we panicked,” said Priyanka whose examination was on 15 July. Maisha, another student, said, “We only had a vague idea that from 15 July, examinations will start, and this information we got around 11 July. We knew just three days in advance that we will have the test, which was surprising.”
She further added, “When the dates were announced, we were very much stressed; also just a day before on 14 July, we came to know that the tests will be in slots—morning slot and afternoon slot. For me, it was a bit easier as my examination day was on 5 August, but for those who had examinations from 15 July, the date became a problem for them.”
Conducted in phases with a series of papers in each phase, technical glitches had hit the CUET examinations from the start, forcing cancellation at 11 centres on its first day, 15 July.
Following this, the affected candidates were allotted alternative centres at the last moment. However, amid confusion, a lot of the students failed to make it to the alternative centres on time.