Long queues, irate parents, anxious children and server problems marked the first day of document verification for those aspiring for a seat in higher education institutes through the Common Entrance Test (CET) here on Wednesday.

Though the schedule dictated that a specific set of ranks come in at a specific time frame, the nine desks (two added in the afternoon to cater to the rush) set up at Sahyadri College of Engineering and Technology, Adyar, the helpline centre of the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), could not cater to the hundreds of students who had assembled.

“It is a bright district,” laughed off M.R. Meera, Assistant Nodal Officer, Karnataka Examination Authority, when the queue of rankers between 1 and 600 had gotten out of control in the morning. “Bright” can be inferred from the number of registrations of rankers: though there are 13 helpline centres across the State, the Mangalore centre itself had 428 out of 2,000 State rankers registered there. “After Bangalore, we have the highest number of students,” said Ms. Meera.

The problems for the officers at the helpdesk started when the servers went online at 9.30 a.m., a half hour delay. With hundreds of parents and students — from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kodagu districts — gathering for registration at 8 a.m., the delay had a domino effect that threw the schedule out of the window.

A few server hiccups during the day also delayed proceedings, and the last of verifications wound up around 9 p.m.

It had been more than two hours of waiting for Rekha Somayyaji, who had come with her son Shivashankar S. (ranked 350), and yet, they had not crossed the registration stage. “Things are proceeding very slowly. We had plans for lunch, but this will take much longer than that,” she said.

Confusion abound as the queue grew longer. With the verification of the first batch barely half-way done at 11 a.m., when the second batch of ranks started to pour in.

“There is no guidance. No one is there to tell us what is happening and why there is such a delay,” said Suresh Pai, a parent.

No CD distribution

Parents were also irked that unlike last time, CDs detailing the counselling procedure were not being distributed. KEA officers explained that the CDs had not been supplied to the centre from Bangalore, and for information, they can glance at the display boards.

“How can we memorise all the information put up on the display board,” asked Ratnakar Ganiga, who had come with his daughter Srinidhi from Kundapur, to the centre.

“The entire process is very slow. We left Kundapur to be here by 8 a.m. If things continue like this, it will be very late in the night by the time we go back,” he said.