Published: 22nd May 2023
CUET-UG 2023: Minimal technical issues despite delays at 12 centres
The NTA has taken several measures to ensure that the second edition of the CUET-UG is conducted smoothly across centres
Despite being delayed at 12 centres due to multiple reasons, the second edition of the Common University Entrance Test - Undergraduate (CUET-UG 2023) began on Sunday, May 21, on a glitch-free note, registering an attendance of 79 per cent.
The examination was also not marred with technical glitches, unlike its debut edition.
According to the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar, the exam started later than scheduled in 2 per cent of centres (approximately 12 out of 450) but was successfully completed on Sunday.
He says that the exam started late due to a couple of reasons such as power fluctuations in some centres and students needing to follow staggered entry. Students were informed via admit cards to enter the centre in a staggered manner.
“But in a few places, since they came late, there was crowding and subsequent delay in the start of the exam. We requested the students to come staggered to avoid this kind of situation. We have now taken administrative measures to prevent such situations in the future. In many cities, we have also taken help from the traffic police to minimise traffic jams around the centres," Kumar said.
Over 2.65 lakh candidates were scheduled to appear in three shifts on the first day.
"Today's overall attendance was 76 per cent, a significant jump from last year, around 62 per cent," he said.
In the first shift, the attendance was 72 per cent, while in the second shift, it was around 77 per cent. The exam was conducted on Sunday at over 440 centres in 271 cities.
Accommodating the clash with JIPMAT dates
Meanwhile, those who were allotted May 28 as the exam date and also have Joint Integrated Programme in Management Admission (JIPMAT) at the same time, have been asked to continue with their management test as the National Testing Agency (NTA) has decided to reschedule their CUET-UG dates.
"The exam went smoothly without any technical glitches. At certain centres, the exam was delayed due to issues in the biometric identification process. However, they were sorted and all candidates successfully completed their exams and were given their allotted time," a senior NTA official said.
The NTA, so far, has issued city intimation slips which have the subjects, dates, and slots till May 28. Many candidates, who were allotted May 28, have also registered for the JIPMAT which is scheduled for the same date.
"The NTA via JIPMAT and CUET email are informing the candidates to sit for the JIPMAT on May 28. Such candidates will be allotted a different date for the CUET-UG exam," the official added.
CUET conducted in shifts
Unlike last year, the exam is being conducted in three shifts this time.
Earlier, the exam was scheduled to be held from May 21 to May 31, but the National Testing Agency (NTA) decided to extend the schedule by at least four days to accommodate the higher number of candidates. Over 14 lakh applications have been received for the CUET-UG this year, registering a 41 per cent increase from the debut edition last year.
CUET-UG remains the second-largest entrance exam in the country in terms of applicants. In the debut edition of CUET-UG, 12.5 lakh students registered themselves and 9.9 lakh of them submitted their applications.
"For the second phase (May 25-28), we are working to provide the admit cards by the 22nd late night or May 23. We will announce the City information slips for the third phase (29 May - 2 June) on May 23," the UGC chairman said.
“About 8 lakh students are appearing in the first phase, which is from May 21 to 25. An almost equal number of boys and girls will be writing. Nearly 750 centres across all states and UTs are being used. Exams are being conducted in this phase in nearly 200 paper combinations,” Kumar said.
The UGC, in March last year, announced that undergraduate admissions would be conducted to all central universities through a common entrance test and not based on class 12 marks.
Preventing technical glitches
The debut edition of the CUET-UG was conducted in July last year and was marred by glitches, prompting the NTA to cancel the exam at multiple centres.
While several students were informed about the cancellation a night before the exam, many of them were turned away from centres.
The UGC chairman had then said the exam at certain centres had been cancelled following reports of "sabotage". "The NTA has taken all measures to test the readiness of all centres regarding computers, network infrastructure, and security. SoPs are given to observers and invigilators for all centres,” he said, adding that dummy tests have also been conducted to check for any possible issues.
"Extra computers have been arranged at each centre. In case of any unforeseen problems with computers, students can be quickly shifted to these computers," he added.
According to NTA officials, in Uttar Pradesh's Ballia as the delay was around 80 minutes, accompanying parents and candidates were served refreshments and NTA had also arranged transportation especially for female candidates, to drop them back home.