How technical issues and delays marred CUET

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What was supposed to simplify the admissions process for undergraduate programs at the University of Delhi and 41 other central universities seems to have caused controversy, as well as a lot of chaos and confusion. CUET (Common University Entrance Test) 2022 has been in the news since it was announced that admission to undergraduate courses will be based on this competitive online test, which will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA ).

The test was to take place in two phases, between July and August, and students were to be admitted to undergraduate programs based on their test scores. Each university was supposed to publish its own merit list.

However, technical issues, alleged mismanagement, and a lack of communication related to CUET have upset many students. Take for example Pinak Ohri (name change on request), a Delhi-based student who was due to sit for CUET on July 15 in the nation’s capital. He did not show up for the exam as there was confusion about the test center after reaching the venue. “I got 97% in my class 12 counseling and thought based on my CUET results I would be able to gain admission to my college of choice. But now I’m really worried,” he said.

Another student from Delhi, Aditya Kapoor (name changed), who scored 85% in the Class 12 charts, shares his experience. On August 6, Kapoor sat for the test in the center assigned to him but had to stop halfway due to a technical problem. “I was about halfway through the exam when the glitch happened,” says Kapoor, who was unable to complete the test.

The NTA assured that affected students would be allowed to retake the exam in the second phase of CUET. He said on August 8 that the test would be carried out again between August 24 and 28. “The delays and persistent problems with CUET are definitely a disadvantage for students,” says Alka Kapur, Principal of Modern Public School Delhi. “The postponement or cancellation of CUET at the last moment creates a lot of confusion. Such disturbances can adversely affect student performance.

Last-minute glitches are sure to increase students’ stress, and this could be reflected in their scores. “With the postponement of exams, the overall preparation of students could be affected,” says Kapur. Students are also unable to concentrate on other competitive exams as CUET is repeatedly put on hold. Additionally, admissions to undergraduate courses will also be delayed. “Because of these hiccups, classes in undergraduate programs will not begin until November. The entire academic cycle will be delayed,” says Silpi Sahoo, Chairman of SAI International Education Group, Odisha. “We believe that the NTA will review the entire situation, in which protocols were not followed, and will soon come up with a solution to ensure the exam runs smoothly.”

The allocation of places for undergraduate courses is now expected to be done by September. The need of the hour is to resolve CUET’s problems – most of which are technical in nature – and to speed up the process so that the university cycle is least affected.

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