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CUET UG 2024: NTA Crisis Blowback Could Delay Results and Admissions Calendar

Crisis blowback at NTA may delay CUET UG 2024 results, admissions calendar

   

CUET-UG is the single-window test for admissions to a majority of undergraduate programs at 46 Central universities, including Delhi University (DU), Allahabad University, and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).

As the National Testing Agency (NTA) grapples with paper leak allegations involving NEET-UG and UGC-NET, the controversy could delay the Central University Entrance Test (CUET-UG) results and cast a shadow over the undergraduate admissions calendar across Central universities, The Indian Express has learned.

CUET-UG is the single-window test for admissions to a majority of undergraduate programs at 46 Central universities, including Delhi University (DU), Allahabad University, and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).  This year, the entrance test was held in hybrid format — online as well as pen-and-paper mode — over multiple shifts between May 15 and May 31.

While the NTA’s information bulletin provides June 30 as the date for declaration of CUET-UG results, a senior official at the agency said that this deadline, in the present scenario, is unlikely to be met. The official added that the exam’s provisional answer key, in all probability, will only be released next week. After which, the agency will take “a week to 10 days” to release the final results.

This would mean a delay in the admissions calendar for all participating universities. For instance, at Delhi University, the second phase of its admission process — which consists of applicants indicating their college and programme preference on the online portal — cannot start unless the CUET-UG results are declared. According to a DU official, the university was planning to open admissions portal for phase two by July 2.

“Although there’s no communication to us on results delay, if there’s one, we don’t have an option but to adjust our calendar accordingly,” said a DU official. This year, there are 71,000 seats at the university that will be filled based on CUET-UG score and the university was planning to start its new academic year by August 1.

At Jawaharlal Nehru University, admission through CUET-UG score is used for admission to its language-specialized undergraduate programs and BSc-MSc Integrated Programme in Ayurveda biology. “If there is a delay in the CUET result announcement, then there will be repercussions on the admissions cycle of the entire country and not just JNU. But for now, we will only proceed forward and decide what to do if there is a delay based on how and when the NTA would notify us,” said an official at JNU.

Bhaskar Bhattacharya, the chairman of central admission committee BHU, said: “If there is going to be a delay in this year’s CUET results, there is definitely going to be an impact on our academic calendar. Ideally, if the results would be announced by June 30, our session this year would start at the latest by mid or end of August. But if there is a delay, since as per the NEP, it is a four year program, our modification plans would include cutting down on vacations and adjusting the academic calendar for these students. Additionally, if there is a delay this year, we won’t be able to start our new session in August.”

The NTA conducts CUET-UG on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC). The Commission’s chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar did not respond to calls and SMSes seeking comment.

This, however, is not the first time that CUET-UG results have been delayed. The three-year-old entrance test, in its debut year (2022) was plagued with teething issues and technical glitches which led to results being declared as late as September. Last year, too, results were announced mid-July, to mainly accommodate candidates from Manipur since the state was witnessing an ethnic conflict, but this time, universities were hoping for a timely announcement so that they could start their academic session on time.

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