After NEET UG row, NTA under fire for mismanagement of UGC NET June 2024 exam

The exam conducting body for the UGC-NET is again receiving flak for mismanagement and poor planning. What are the examinees saying? Read to find out more
UGC-NET June 2024
UGC-NET June 2024(Source: EdexLive Desk)

The University Grants Commission - National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) 2024 June exam was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) yesterday, Tuesday, June 18, all across the country.

Despite the UGC Chairman, M Jagadesh Kumar's declaration of successfully conducting the exam, students complained of mismanagement and the various ways in which they were inconvenienced.

This time, the NTA conducted the exam in one day, with two shifts. The first shift of the exam commenced at 9.30 am and concluded at 12.30 pm.

The second shift was conducted from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Absurd allotment of centres?
Loni Ahmed Das, a former student of Media Studies at the University of Hyderabad, told EdexLive that the haphazard allotment of centres was bothersome and caused great difficulty. "I am not a permanent resident here, and navigating through remote areas to reach the centre becomes an arduous task," said Loni.

Loni, residing in Hyderabad, had to travel 45 kilometres availing different modes of transportation to reach her centre. She tweets:

(My centre was around 45 kms away. Taking a combination of bus, auto and metro cost me 600 rupees only to reach the centre. All the candidates had to pay 20 rupees each to keep their bags in a locker room. A direct Uber costs 1500 rupees. Who is the exam for?)

@LonelyNahiLoni

She further narrated her distress to EdexLive saying that most people couldn't help her with the directions and Google Maps was not accurate either. "I do not speak the local language and reaching the centre at the stipulated time was close to a challenge for me."

For Sanjib Kalita, another UGC-NET aspirant, things were not quite easy. Sanjib, a resident of Assam, had chosen Guwahati as his exam centre and had to travel for four hours. "The only convenient centre for me was Guwahati. UGC has designated centres in just six cities of Assam, and most are in Guwahati and the Northern part of Assam," said Kalita.

Kalita describes his dilemma and uncertainties when it came to travelling while the state was grappling with heavy rainfall and floods. He cited transportation issues to reach his centre in Guwahati.

According to a report by The New Indian Express, over 1.61 lakh people in 15 districts have been affected by the calamity and the flood has claimed 26 lives in the state so far.

Centre lacking facilities
Das' centre for the UGC-NET June 2024 exam, was an institution named Princeton Institute of Engineering and Technology for Women, where allegedly, they were levied a charge of Rs 20 from the candidates, to keep their belongings in a locker room.

According to her, students were not allowed bathroom breaks and the ladies' washroom lacked running water. Furthermore, she alleges that the sinks were broken.

Sanjib, adding to this, told EdexLive that the management staff at his centre were not allowing students to keep their belongings on the premises. After several requests, especially from students who travelled from far away places, it was allowed but they also warned that the authority would claim no responsibility for it.

"We have travelled so far, how can we not carry our belongings with us? For students like me, we ought to carry a bag, not all of us have our parents travelling with us or have cars," said Sanjib.

He further complained of no provision of water at the centre. The Assam resident was not allowed to bring along his water bottle.

An X user named Madhushree Goswami posted that her sister-in-law, who is pregnant, had to climb four floors to avail a functioning toilet at her centre. She writes, "My sister-in-law who is pregnant had to climb up 4 floors to use a 'decent' toilet. The one situated on her floor looked like it was last cleaned ages ago. She was made to sit in such a place which was far away from the fan and there was no proper ventilation, in this heat."

- (@Madhushree24)

Pen, paper and more
This time, the UGC had reinstated the pen and paper method, replacing the computerised tests.

Students, including Kalita, thought that this would be convenient given the glitches that occur with online exams, yet he says that this turned out to be a cause of anxiety for many including him.

"The invigilators in the exam hall had no clue if one could correct their mistakes made on the OMR sheet. One invigilator at our exam centre declared that the student's paper may stand cancelled if they filled in their roll numbers incorrectly, or they tried to fix the mistakes," he claimed.

He further adds that in a computerised test, one can revise their answer, but on an OMR sheet, it is not possible.

Another UGC-NET aspirant from Hyderabad, Nishi, describes her ordeal as anxiety-inducing. "I was running out of time towards the end, and it filled me with panic. I might have left many questions unanswered, if for the extra few minutes that one luckily got as the invigilators were busy collecting the sheets from other students."

Do you have your experiences to share with EdexLive? Drop a comment and start a dialogue.

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