The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Saturday delisted 53 exam centres from conducting the Common University Entrance Test for Under Graduate (CUET-UG) admissions after technical glitches resulted in rescheduling of exams at several centres over the past two days. The centres were also warned of strict action in case of “sabotage”.
The large number of complaints from affected students and their parents also forced the Minister for Education Dharmendra Pradhan to hold a review meeting along with officials of his Ministry, the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education and NTA.
“We have cancelled exams at 53 centres. For the remaining schedule of the CUET-UG, no exam will be held at these centres because of the technical problems seen in the past two days,” Vineet Joshi, Director General of NTA told The Hindu.
“It was found that some of the centres failed to comply with the laid down protocols. Any incidence of non-compliance/sabotage/ignorance will be viewed very seriously and strict action will be taken against those centres to ensure smooth conduct of examinations in future,” the NTA said in a press statement.
Late on Friday evening, the NTA issued a public notice saying that the exam to be held at these 53 centres on Saturday will now be held between August 12 and August 14.
Of the 53 centres, 32 are in Delhi, four each in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, two each in Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Ladakh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.
“We are working on a comprehensive plan for exams that have been rescheduled. We will intimate the exact schedule in a few days. We have also received representations from those seeking change in dates because of clash with other competitive exams and are looking into their requests,” Mr. Joshi said. The NTA is yet to announce when the result will be declared, but the DG said that there will be no delay. “We have enough space available,” he said.
The NTA is conducting CUET -UG 2022 from July 15 to August 20 in two phases at 489 centres in 259 cities in India and nine cities abroad. The exam is being held in two shifts — morning and afternoon. Approximately 14.9 lakh students have registered for the exam.
Though the NTA has blamed the test centres, on the first day of the second phase on August 4, it cancelled the exam across all centres for the afternoon shift after a two-hour delay in uploading the question paper. The morning shift exam at 28 centres was also rescheduled to August 12-14. The following day the exam at 20 centres in the morning shift, and at 30 centres in the afternoon shift was postponed following complaints by students and their parents. The first phase of CUET-UG was also marred by technical issues and so was the UGC-National Eligibility Test held last month, which is also conducted by the NTA.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the government on Twitter, saying the “new education policy of amrit kaal” was to have “parikshaa pe charcha” (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with students) before exams, “no question paper, no discussion” at the time of exams and “after the exam a future in darkness”. He said, “today what is happening with students of CUET is the story of every youth in the country.”