The UGC’s categorical stand means that even those students who attributed their delay to the National Testing Agency’s decision to change about 15 centres, including one in Delhi, a day before the exam will not be eligible for a retest.
“In some cases, a few students reached the centres after 9.30 pm, after the commencement of the first session in the morning slot. It is a common practice and it has already been conveyed to students that if they come 30 minutes after the commencement of the examination, they are not permitted to enter the centre,” UGC chairperson Prof M Jagadesh Kumar said.
The exam centres that were changed on Thursday included the Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT) in Dwarka — the centre was shifted to Delhi University’s north campus.
According to the NTA, the decision was conveyed to students through text messages, emails and automated phone calls.
Asked why the centres were changed a day before the exam, NTA director general Vineet Joshi told The Indian Express: “You keep testing the system. We do mock tests at a centre before every exam. If there is the slightest problem, we have to change the exam centre. There is no other way.”
Joshi said buses were stationed for those who had reached the original centre.
“We had arranged buses at all the old centres to transport the students to the new centres, in case they missed the memo. For instance, the last bus from NSUT left at 8.30 am, which is the cut-off time to bar entry in the exam centre. So if you reached your original centre even a minute later than 8.30 am, you wouldn’t have been able to take the exam there anyway. If you reached on time, then you would have been safely transported in our buses to the new centre. They were all ferried to the new centre and were allowed to begin the exam much after 9 am,” he said.
Prof Kumar said the candidates may have reached late for “various reasons”, but if they turned up after the 30 minutes grace period, “there is no way we can conduct a retest for them”.
He said the first day of the entrance test saw 85 per cent attendance. As many as 5,000 CCTVs and 1,500 jammers were installed in the test centres to prevent malpractices, he added.
About 80,000 candidates are expected to take the test on Thursday.
CUET is the single gateway exam to seek admission to undergraduate programmes across 45 central universities. This is the first year of the exam, which will be held.