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Online error stalls ISC result

Calcutta, May 17: Thousands of students waiting for their ISC results were let down by technology today as the council’s Internet site kept flashing an error message for several hours and repeated attempts to access scores failed.

“An application error occurred on the server,” the site kept flashing. Text message requests for marks drew a blank.

The council blamed the US-based software company handling the online results for the fiasco. Its server, located in Kochi, had apparently crashed as thousands of anxious students across India tried to access their results at the same time.

Flooded with calls and then swarmed by students and parents, schools could be of little help. “It’s over four hours now and we have not been able to access the results yet. It’s frustrating for the school and the students and we are trying the council’s site every five minutes,” La Martiniere for Boys principal Sunirmal Chakravarthi said around 7pm.

By then many students had accessed the results, but most schools had still not got them.

“The company we had engaged to develop the software informed us there was heavy traffic on the line as thousands of students across the country tried to log in at a same time,” Gerry Arathoon, secretary and chief executive of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), told The Telegraph. “The results came online exactly at 3pm. But the website went blank after 10 to 15 minutes.”

A few students did get through in the first 10-15 minutes but they were just a handful. “The company had not been able to pinpoint the fault till late this evening,” Arathoon said. Orion India Systems declined comment.

Of the 68,723 students who appeared for the exam, 20,404 were from Bengal, where 95.04 per cent passed. The all-India figure was 95.27 per cent.

The council had said schools would be able to access the results online by logging into its CAREERS portal, which only principals can access using a unique login ID. But the schools put their hands up after trying in vain to log in. “One expects greater efficiency,” said Kaveri Dutt, principal, Modern High.

Many schools and students who tried to lodge a complaint with the council’s helpdesk alleged that the helpline did not work. The council had announced on May 14 that if there were any doubts, schools could contact the CISCE helpdesk at ciscehelpdesk@orioninc.com or call at 022-67226106. “It was a very anxious two hours,” said Ayush Jain, of Delhi Public School Megacity, who came to know around 5pm that he had scored 97.5 per cent.

“I could see my result around 4.45pm,” said Avani Agarwal of Modern High, who scored 97.25 per cent. “I sent at least 10 text messages but received no reply.”

Some, like Rupal Sharma of Agrasain Balika Siksha Sadan in Howrah, had to wait longer: till 10pm.

The council has been publishing results online since the late 1990s. Till last year, it hired private portals from where students could download their scores. This year, the council decided on a single portal of its own for releasing the results as part of a “drive to modernise the examination system”.

The change was aimed at ensuring privacy, a source in the council said, as results had apparently been hacked into earlier.

By 8pm most schools in the city had been able to access the results.