The National Testing Agency Must Pull up Its Socks! It Cannot be Lackadaisical!

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NTA
  • Hundreds of thousands of students take various eligibility tests to get admission into some of the niche higher educational institutions in the country. Yes, why only India every other country around the globe focuses on improving the education sector simply because today’s children are tomorrow’s future. Thus, no amount of emphasis on sprucing up the education sector will be construed as uneven/unwanted. The Indian government has prioritized the education sector as one of the key economic parameters, but the allocation of funds as compared to the GDP is still considered minuscule for a large population like India. Efforts are afoot to address this glaring anomaly with the involvement of all stakeholders. Have we succeeded in this endeavor?

Exams

PC: Udayavani

  • Now, one of the most crucial aspects of admission into any professional higher educational institution is the conduct of entrance/eligibility tests. For the uninitiated, there are several such tests conducted by the central as well as state agencies for admissions. Worryingly, it is becoming increasingly challenging for the students to write the exams in a pleasant and peaceful manner for want of diligence by the exam conducting agencies. As you are aware, in its inaugural year, the CUET-UG exam stretched up to Aug 30, one painful glitch after another. In 2023, it wrapped up by July 5, snags remained but were dramatically reduced. So, when the National Testing Authority released the May 15-24 schedule for this year, it promised brevity and a pleasant exam experience.
  • Alas, it was not to be. Halfway through the exam, this promise has already proved false for too many students. All the candidates appearing at test centers across Delhi got a rude jolt on the eve of the very first exam day, with the scheduled tests postponed to May 29 due to unavoidable reasons. Subsequent exam days have also seen complaints galore. These range from malfunctioning biometric systems to unsanitary washrooms, broken fans, and over-casual invigilation. Also sitting for the exam on May 29 will be the unfortunate students from a Kanpur exam centre, who were handed the wrong question papers. Students from an Indore centre have similarly complained that they were given the Chemistry paper in English, despite having selected the Hindi option.

Kanpur exam centre

PC: Tribune India

  • Poor preparations for the hot weather have also been reported from places other than Delhi, such as Lucknow. The students and the parents must be worried, felt harassed, and at their wit’s end by the turn of events. Disturbingly, there are reports of a stampede-like situation from Meghalaya because of poor coordination between NTA and a Shillong test center. While this listing can go on the point is surely already clear. The quality control of test centers which was the biggest challenge in 2022, still leaves much to be desired. Note that only the pen-and-paper exams have taken place so far. When the computer-based tests commence, the tech challenge will come into play. And NTA must rise to it. Such important tests cannot be neglected anymore.