Amidst rumours of the computer-based Common Admission Test being cancelled to revert to the pencil-and-paper format, candidates turned up to write this entrance examination at eight test centres in the city for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
Even on the fifth day of this 10-day process, the examination continued to be ridden with issues at the Garden City College Centre in Bangalore. While there were no formal cancellations on Thursday, students slated to appear for the examination in two of the 11 labs were unable to log in for more than two hours.
Exasperated, several left the hall with nothing to show for the fact that they had attended the session or any written assurance of a second chance. Many were students who had other college examinations.
Furious with authorities, Rakesh, a candidate, said while students in other labs in the city were logging out after completing their examination, the proctors were still trying to “fix the problem”. “It is completely ridiculous. People who had come to attend CAT had classes scheduled, examinations to write and office appointments to keep,” he said. Moreover, the centre is on the city’s outskirts, making it even more inconvenient.
The Garden City College centre has been facing such technical snags for five consecutive days. While the IIMs and Prometric have blamed it on a “virus”, students and even coaching centre chains claim that a “virus issue” cannot last this long. “What is the big deal? Reformat the computer, disconnect it from the internet and retain only the operating system and the test package — that should be a simple deal!” snapped Ajay Arora of TIME, a coaching centre. TIME has also written to the IIMs seeking cancellation of CAT 2009.
Speaking to The Hindu, IIM-Ahmedabad Director Satish Deodhar said scrapping the CAT or reverting to non-digital format had not been considered as an option till date, as reported by a section of the media. “We are awaiting Prometric’s feedback on today’s performance, and will reschedule examinations of all the students who have been denied their chance so far,” he added.
Though technical glitches and cancellations have marred this CAT season, it has been smooth sailing for a few colleges such as Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology and R.V. College of Engineering. These centres have not seen a single cancellation and delays too have been kept to the minimum.
While the MVIT has fewer students opting for this far-flung centre, R.V.C.E has a sizeable number of students.
Speaking to The Hindu, MVIT Principal Indira said none of the 200 students appearing each day have encountered any technical issues. “This can be attributed to the fact that we tested the robustness of the system a week in advance and even used a strong anti-virus package,” she said. Further, though the test organisers had sought to accommodate 300 to 400 candidates, the college had restricted it to 200, she added.