The second phase of Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-UG had a bad start Thursday with technical glitches and administrative issues forcing the NTA to cancel second shift exam across all 489 centres and postpone first shift at some locations in 17 states.
"Due to various administrative and technical reasons, the CUET (UG)2022 scheduled for August 4 (first shift) has been postponed to August 12 for a few examination centres in 17 states," said Sadhana Parashar, Senior Director, National Testing Agency (NTA).
"Further, because of technical reasons, the question paper for the second shift of the examination could only be uploaded at 5 pm and the download at 489 centres could start at 5:25 pm, while the exam was scheduled to begin from 3 pm," she added.
Parashar said reports were asked from the observers and city coordinators on ground.
"Based on their recommendations, the second shift scheduled for August 4 (from 3 pm to 6 pm) is cancelled and the same will now be conducted between August 12 and 14, 2022.
"The same admit card will be valid for the candidates whose examination has been postponed. In case, August 12-14, 2022 is not suitable, the candidates can send an e-mail to email@example.com mentioning their desired date and roll number," she said.
The NTA is conducting CUET(UG) - 2022 from July 15 to August 20 (excluding the days of other undergraduate examinations and gazetted holidays) at 489 centres located in approximately 259 cities across India and nine cities outside India.
The NTA also postponed both the shifts of CUET-UG in Kerala due to heavy rains in the state and said fresh dates for the exams will be announced later.
Students who travelled to the exam centres only to find out their test has been cancelled or postponed, had a harrowing time.
"I and my father travelled 300 km to the exam centre. But after arrival, officials said that the test is cancelled due to technical problems. What kind of joke is this?" a candidate said in a tweet.
The students claimed that they got no prior information about the examination being postponed.
Another Twitter user wrote: "CUET Exam scheduled today has been postponed to 12th August. NTA exam centre Noida Sector 64. No information in advance. We have lots of time to waste."
Apart from this confusion, many candidates faced technical glitches during the exam.
"The tests in many systems weren't getting started because of which students had to sit idle for hours," a Twitter user alleged.
"My CUET exam was scheduled today at 9 am. I could only appear for the english section and not for the next 3 sections. All candidates in my centre were not able to appear for the exam due to a server issue. Please look into the matter," Aaryam Sharma, a CUET(UG) aspirant, said.
The first phase of CUET-UG was held between July 15 and July 20.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) chief Jagadesh Kumar had in March announced that CUET scores, and not Class 12 marks, would be mandatory for admission to 45 central universities which can fix their minimum eligibility criteria.
With 14.9 lakh registrations, the CUET, common gateway for undergraduate admissions in all central universities, is now the second-biggest entrance exam in the country, surpassing the JEE-Main's average registration of nine lakh.
Apart from central universities, 12 state universities, 11 deemed universities, and 19 private universities have applied to participate in the first edition of CUET-UG for admissions in the academic session 2022-23.