The agency conducting the maiden Central University Entrance Test has said it favours giving a fresh opportunity to students who missed their exam on the first day, July 15, after arriving punctually at the centre only to find the venue had been changed.
National Testing Agency director-general Vineet Joshi told The Telegraph that the NTA would consult the University Grants Commission on the subject.
The NTA is only the testing agency and cannot decide on its own.
Joshi said technical glitches can sometimes make last-minute cancellations of exam centres unavoidable with computer-based tests.
The NTA had changed 11 centres on July 15. About a dozen candidates could not take their exams, failing to reach the new centre on time.
“Based on the merit of individual cases, the NTA will consult the UGC about giving a fresh opportunity to them. Our stand is that no student should be harmed if he or she has reached the old exam centre on time,” Joshi said.
The examinees had been told to reach their centres before 8.30am. At the cancelled centres, the NTA had arranged for transport to ferry the students to the new centres.
However, the atmosphere of confusion may have caused some students to miss the transport despite reaching the original exam centre on time. Such students alone will be considered for a fresh opportunity, Joshi said.
The CUET is to continue till August 20, and the students can get their chance on one of the upcoming exam days.
Joshi said: “We conduct a mock test a day before the test. If there is any technical glitch, we try to rectify it. If the problem is not fixed, we change the centre and issue fresh admit cards in the evening.”
He added: “If a student fails to download the fresh admit card or if a student arrives at the old centre, we make arrangements to ferry the student to the new centre. But the student should reach the old centre before the stipulated 8.30am.”
He said that computers can sometimes not work during the exam despite working well during the mock test. In such instances, the NTA tries to rectify the problem immediately and give the students extra time. If the problem proves too big, the students are given a fresh opportunity.
CPM student arm SFI has accused the NTA of incompetence.
“The NTA has clearly shown its incapability to conduct CUET examinations in its first attempt. Students appearing for the examination were met with last-minute changes in their centre which led them to be unable to attend the examination. Several students were also misinformed at the centre that their test was rescheduled,” the SFI said in a media release.