NEW DELHI: The first day of the second phase of the Common University Entrance Test for undergraduate courses — CUET(UG) — was marred by several technical glitches, so much so that the National Testing Agency (NTA) conducting the crucial test for admissions to all central many state university colleges had to postpone the exams.

Candidates in the morning slot at 41 centres across 29 cities and 17 states/Union territories were sent back due to “technical problems”. The glitches were more widespread in the afternoon slot as the general test paper didn’t get uploaded on the screen, forcing the NTA to cancel the entire second shift of the exam at over 400 centres.

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In the evening, the agency announced that the postponed first shift exams will be conducted on August 12 and the second shift exams from August 12 to 14, 2022. The first phase, which was conducted between July 15-20, too was plagued by technical issues.

“Due to various administrative and technical reasons, the CUET (UG) scheduled for August 4 (first shift) has been postponed to August 12 for a few examination centres in 17 states,” said Sadhana Parashar, senior director, NTA.

“Further, because of technical reasons, the question paper for the second shift of the examination could only be uploaded at 5pm and the download at 489 centres could start at 5.25pm, while the exam was scheduled to begin from 3pm,” she added.

Meanwhile, the NTA in its notification, said, “Reports were asked from the observers/city coordinators on the ground. Based on their recommendations, the second shift scheduled for August 4, 2022 (from 3pm to 6pm) is cancelled and the same will now be conducted between August 12 to 14, 2022.”

Thursday’s exams were postponed in five cities in Tamil Nadu and four each in Jharkhand and Maharashtra. The exams were postponed in two cities each in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Candidates also are unhappy with the last-minute changes. “My CUET exam was scheduled on August 4 but when I reached the centre, my exam centre teachers told me that the exam has been cancelled and is now scheduled on August 12. Also, they changed my examination date from August 5 to August 4 without any official intimation,” said Arpit, a candidate.

Mudit Pratap Singh, a candidate at a centre in UP’s Sultanpur, tweeted: “Along with me, 50-60 students were unable to complete their exam. The computer screen was not showing questions and options at my centre. But NTA has mentioned only two cities in UP in their notice. So disgusting. Along with Sultanpur district, few other districts also faced the same problem.”

Another candidate alleged in a tweet, “I and my father travelled 300km to the exam centre. But after arrival officials said that my exam is cancelled due to technical problems. What kind of joke is this?”

Many are still perplexed about the purported notice. “My CUET slot-1 exam dated August 4 at NTA centre 3 Noida 64 has been cancelled and rescheduled to August 12. Please NTA provide me with a clear image of the admit card and centre details for the rescheduled exam,” Dhiraj Kumar wrote on Twitter.

“The tests in many systems weren’t getting started because of which students had to sit idle for hours,” a Twitter user alleged.

The NTA has been issuing admit cards four to five days ahead of the exam. However, some students who still have not received their admit cards for their August 7 exams are in panic and took to social media to express their anguish.

According to the NTA, the admit cards of candidates whose examinations (on August 4) have been postponed will be valid for the postponed exams too. Also, if a candidate has problems taking the test from August 12 to 14, the agency has asked them to send an email mentioning their roll number and desired date for taking the test.

The NTA is conducting CUET (UG)-2022 from July 15 to August 20 (excluding the days of other undergraduate examinations, and gazetted holidays) at 489 centres located in approximately 259 cities across India and nine cities outside India.


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