After CUET, UGC-NET students complain about far-off centres; many miss exams 

Over 1 lakh students took the UGC-NET exam on Friday, October 14 the last day of the final and fourth phase of the examinations
Students taking the NET exam | Pic: EdexLive
Students taking the NET exam | Pic: EdexLive

Just like the Common University Entrance Test (CUET), many students taking the University Grants Commission - National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) exams have complained that they had to travel to far-off places for their examination centres, some even 800 km away from their homes. Aspirants even took to social media to complain about the same along with requesting the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, to look into the matter urgently.

Speaking with The New Indian Express, NTA Chairman Vineet Joshi said that over 1,000 grievances of students, who wrote to them about centre change, were addressed. "Today was the last day of the examination. Those who missed taking it will have to take it next time. We tried to accommodate as many students as possible who wrote to us on our authorised email ID," Joshi said.

Over one lakh students took the UGC-NET exam on Friday, October 14 the last day of the final and fourth phase of the examinations, which are conducted to determine the eligibility for the post of assistant professor and Junior Research Fellowship award in Indian universities and colleges. 

As many students were not able to take the exam, they flooded social media with complaints about their examination centres located in far-flung areas, with many raising the issue that aspirants of CUET also faced a similar situation. 

Students speak

Many CUET aspirants missed the crucial exam for admission to undergraduate courses in universities and colleges due to examination centres being located in far-flung areas and, in some cases, different cities and states. 

Similar woes plagued students who appeared for the UGC-NET exam. One such student said that her friend had an exam on October 13, and in the application form, candidates were asked to list four preferred exam centres. "But the allotted exam centre was entirely different from the one on their preference list. Because of that, she wasn't able to write the exam yesterday. Like her, there are many students," said the student, as per The New Indian Express.

Another aspirant said that her examination centre was Madurai, despite mentioning four options near her house as she was from Kanyakumari. "Since Madurai is far from my native place and due to the shortage of time, it's tough for me to attend the NET exam," the student said.

Priya Sahani tweeted that NTA has not allowed the examination centre according to the choices of candidates. "The centre is allotted as far as 300-800 km from their hometowns, and the admit card was only released two days before the exam. Due to this, students were unable to give the exams." Another student said he missed taking the UGC-NET exam for the same reason.

What did officials say? 

Joshi said he was awake till 2 am on October 13 trying to sort out various grievances of students. "I was up till 2 am and I addressed a grievance of a student from Arunachal Pradesh. We tried to help out as many students as possible. But it is difficult for us to address the problems of those who post it on social media. We cannot keep track of social media. Students should write to us.”

Additionally, a controversy erupted regarding the History exam paper of October 10 as it was alleged that it was leaked. Many students stormed the UGC office on Wednesday, October 12, after hearing the news. The NTA "vehemently" denied allegations of leakage of the History exam and alerted UGC-NET students against such fake tweets and YouTube videos making such claims on social media platforms.

In a public notice issued the same day, the NTA said it was fake that the history exam paper of the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted on October 10 was leaked.

The NTA conducted the phase 4 exams on October 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 for the December 2021 and June 2022 merged cycles. The Phase I exam was held on July 9, 11 and 12; Phase II was conducted from Sep 20 to 23 and Phase III was conducted on Sep 29, 30 and Oct 1. The exams were conducted in 500 cities. 

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