Published: 22nd August 2022
Students asking for another attempt at CUET, NEET and JEE to hold candle march today, August 22
Students have been demanding an extra attempt at these exams as they faced several issues like server problems, technical glitches, late release of admit cards, clashing of exams and so on
Student activists and associations who had earlier organised a Maha Andolan on August 17 against the National Testing Agency (NTA) due to the technical glitches faced by students while they attempted Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Common University Entrance Test (CUET) 2022 exams, will take out a multi-city candle march today, August 22 demanding an extra attempt at these exams.
A press note released by Pawan Bhadana, a student activist, read that more than 100 students participated in the protest on August 17 and after ending the protest at 2 pm near Jantar Mantar, the lot submitted a representation to the Education Ministry along with proof of irregularities. Additionally, "Ministry officials assure us that they will take action on this within two days," the note added.
When EdexLive had earlier spoken to Pawan Bhadana, he shared that they will wait for two days and if there is no response from the government, then, based on the discussions with students, parents and educators, a nationwide candle march will be organised.
The march will be held today, August 22 at 7 pm, informed Vaibhav Dinkar, from the All India Students’ Union (AISU), who is supporting the call for protest.
Why are they protesting?
During the entrance exams JEE, NEET and CUET, aspirants faced several issues like server problems, technical glitches, late release of admit cards, clashing of exams, wrong response key, postponement, cancellation and so on. Student activists have been demanding an extra attempt at these exams due to these reasons.
What happened during the JEE Mains exam?
Vaibhav Dinkar, National Coordinator of the AISU had earlier informed EdexLive that multiple students had reached out to them complaining about the problems they faced. During the first attempt at the JEE Mains 2022 exam that was conducted from June 25 to 30, several students were allotted centres that weren’t chosen by them in the first place. He added that there were technical glitches during the exam as well. For example, screens were frozen for around 15 to 30 minutes and extra time was not granted to these students. In some cases, the timer wasn’t visible on students’ screens.
However, he added that these problems weren’t just limited to the first attempt at the exam — it was prevalent even during the second attempt. Students and parents have also claimed that the response sheets released by NTA were wrong and not the same as that of their students. The answer key and response sheet did not match with the actual questions attempted by the students at the exam centres, they said. Some of them also cited a delay in the release of their admit cards. Due to this, those whose exam centres were located far away claimed that they could not reach the designated exam centres on time.
Candidates have also alleged discrepancies in their scores, with good marks inviting less percentile. Some have even stated that because of these discrepancies they have been now rendered ineligible to apply for JEE Advanced.
What happened during the NEET UG exam?
With NEET UG 2022 on the other hand, in one instance, students who appeared for the examination at a centre in Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district in July, alleged that they were made to write the exam twice because of a question-paper mix-up, according to reports. They said that question papers meant for Hindi and English medium students were interchanged mistakenly. The incident had also resulted in students and parents protesting in front of the exam centre, according to reports. Saurav Saha, a student activist had earlier told EdexLive that they learnt that different NEET exam papers were given in India and abroad, which goes against the rules.
In another instance, there was an interchange of OMR sheets an hour after the commencement of the exam at an exam centre in Madhya Pradesh, because an English-medium paper was given to students who opted for Hindi and vice-versa. Students claimed that post the interchange of sheets, it took them a lot of time to come out of the trauma that they had just solved the paper for someone else.
Additionally, in some centres, students were given xerox copies of the original OMR sheets, which activists like Vivek Pandey say is not the first time it is happening. He had earlier told EdexLive that from the time the NTA has taken over the authority to conduct the exams, which was in 2019, there have been many irregularities that have taken place like paper leaks, xerox copies of OMR sheets and so on.
What happened during the CUET UG exam?
Similarly, the CUET exam too was marred with multiple problems. In some situations, many students reported that they turned up for the exam on day one, August 4, at their respective centres only to be informed that the exam was postponed at the very last moment. Secondly, on the first day itself, the second shift of the exam was cancelled across all centres and postponed to August 12, with the officials from the NTA citing administrative and technical reasons for the same.
In phase four of the exam, candidates reported that their attempt to download their admit card was futile for two days before the exam. When they did end up downloading the admit card on the day of the exam, they realised that the exam centre was extremely far from their residence. Some students also claimed that they were allotted exam centres that were not there in their list of preferences.
Some students also took to Twitter to draw attention to the issue. They wanted the exam to be rescheduled as the date of the CUET exam was clashing with some of their other exams such as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class XII improvement exam.
Keeping in mind all these problems, the candle march will be held today in multiple cities across the country including Hyderabad, Patna, Kota, Delhi, Nagpur, and Lucknow among others.