Published: 11th July 2022
UGC NET exam: With technical glitches in several centres, AISA demands re-exam
The National Testing Agency (NTA) on July 9 announced the rescheduling of the Session 1 exam in seven centres where the exam could not be conducted properly
The University Grants Commission - National Eligibility Test (UGC NET) exam was conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) and it commenced on July 9, Saturday, across India. While in many centres, the exam was delayed by hours, in several other centres, the exam was not conducted at all. A notice put out by the NTA stated that in seven centres, owing to technical glitches, the exam was not conducted smoothly.
In this context, the All India Students Association (AISA) is staging a protest today, July 11 at 2 pm, at UGC office against "NTA's criminal mismanagement" of the NET exam, as stated in a poster released by AISA.
The NTA public notice released on July 9, read, "Due to technical issues the examination scheduled on 9 July 2022 Shift-1 could not be conducted at seven Exam Centres in the country. Shift II went off smoothly." Additionally, it announced that the exam would be rescheduled and the revised date will be announced soon along with the admit cards.
The seven centres mentioned by NTA are KIPM College of Engineering and Technology, Gorakhpur, UP; National Institute of Technology Calicut, Kozhikode, Kerala; United Institute of Technology, Allahabad/Prayagraj, UP; JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida, UP; Government Polytechnic Munger, Bihar; Government Women's Polytechnic, Muzaffarpur, Bihar and Gyanmanjari Institute of Technology, Bhavnagar, Gujarat.
But the AISA's contention is that there are several other centres where exams need to be conducted again.
More issues emerge
The statement released by AISA read that on June 25, NTA released its first notice informing students that the examination for December 2021 and January 2022 cycle will be held in two phases. As per this, the first phase was to begin only 12 days later on July 8, followed by the next phase after a gap of one month on August 8. With the "incomplete intimation by the NTA", students were left anxious as they were "not informed which subjects would have their exams in which phase."
This left students appearing for all subjects to "fast forward their preparation without knowing if they would be the ones sacrificed in NTA's lucky draw," the statement added.
Giving more details, the statement mentioned that NTA released the next notice on July 4, 2022, "declaring that 26 subjects would have their examination four days later on July 9, 2022." The hall tickets were not released until three days later on July 7, it added.
Additionally, students from Naini and Prayagraj have complained that systems in their centre stopped working 10 minutes after the exam began and the students had to return home without appearing for the exam, the statement by AISA said. Furthermore, exams for Telugu and Marathi were postponed due to the mismanagement of the NTA.
Talking about other issues faced by the candidates, President of AISA, N Sai Balaji, said NTA is "ruining the lives of students" as there were multiple issues in several regions. He also went on to highlight other issues. Like how the admit cards were released just four days before the exams, making it troublesome for candidates to travel.
Additionally, speaking about the exam and one of the glitches that students had to face was that in the passage section, "there were questions but no passages and in other instances, there were passages with no questions." Spelling mistakes were observed in several subjects like International Relations, Persian, Performance Arts and others, he added.
Citing AISA's protest, when EdexLive asked Balaji what their demands are, he said, "First, CBSE, and not the NTA, should conduct the exams plus exams should be conducted again in all those centres where the mishap happened." He also demanded clarity when it comes to CUET (Common Universities Entrance Exam).
The research scholar brings up the issue of CUET, which is to be held on July 15, because the admit cards are yet to be released while the exam is just three days away.
Balaji alleged that the "breakdown of NTA's server" delayed the exam. He asked if NTA is unable to manage to conduct exams, why should it take this up at all?
About the exam
UGC NET exam determines eligibility for the post of Assistant Professor in universities, and for awarding the Junior Research Fellowship or JRF to PhD students.
The exam this year is being conducted from July 9 in two shifts, with the first one from 9.00 am to 12 noon, and the second from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm.
Not the first time
This is not the first time this year that the NTA is facing flak for mishaps in the conduct of a major national-level exam. Technical issues disrupted the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main Session 1 last month in many centres across the country as well, and the NTA had at the time said that Shift 1 of that exam will be rescheduled for those students who were affected.
It is to be remembered that the NTA also conducts the NEET UG exam which is scheduled to be conducted on July 17 and the Common Universities Entrance Test which will begin on July 15.