New Delhi: The Common University Entrance Test-Undergraduate (CUET-UG) has been deferred to May 29 in Manipur in view of the law and order situation, the National Testing Agency (NTA) said on Friday.
The second edition of the undergraduate entrance exam is set to begin across the country on May 21. While it was earlier scheduled to end on May 31, the NTA decided to extend the exam schedule by at least four days to accommodate the higher number of candidates in certain cities.
The NTA, which conducts the exam, is also considering setting up a temporary exam centre in Srinagar to accommodate candidates who have been allotted centres outside Jammu and Kashmir.
Several students from Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand have been caught off guard as they have been allotted examination centres hundreds of kilometres away from their hometown irrespective of their preferences for a closer centre.
"NTA is exploring the possibility of setting up a temporary centre in Srinagar to accommodate candidates who have been allotted centres outside," the NTA said in an official order.
In Manipur, which was rocked by violence earlier this month, the exam has been deferred by a week and students still have the option to seek a change of centre.
In the northeastern state, the exam will begin on May 29.
"NTA has carefully reviewed the law and order situation in consultation with the state administration and contacted the candidates through telephone to know their preferred city.... Some candidates who were not in Manipur or wanted to take the examination in another state are being allocated (centres) in other cities, including Delhi and Guwahati. The option for change of centre for candidates of Manipur is still available," it said.
"The NTA has been advised to keep all examinations in the state of Manipur from May 29 onwards. Those candidates who may have got admit cards for 21 to 24 May 2023 or city intimation slips for CUET (UG)-2023 to be held between May 25 and 28 are required to contact NTA," the NTA added.
A total of 3,697 candidates had earlier opted to appear for CUET in Manipur.
The NTA said that though all measures have been taken to allot candidates their centres in their preferred cities, there are some who have been allotted centres in a neighbouring state.
"Due to the number of candidates being extremely large in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, some candidates may still have to take the CUET outside their chosen state," the agency said.
A total of 87,309 candidates have been registered from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while 1,78,630 candidates have chosen to appear for the exam in Jharkhand.
"For May 21-24, a total of 52,793 candidates will be appearing in 19 centres in Jharkhand, which is again a phenomenal increase. For May 25-28, a total of 77,797 candidates will be appearing in 14 centres in Jharkhand," the NTA said.
The CUET-UG has been scheduled for 14.99 lakh candidates who have opted for 64.35 lakh test papers. These candidates have applied for 48,779 unique combinations of subjects.
The number of applications this year saw an increase of 41 per cent from the debut edition last year.
CUET-UG remains the second-largest entrance exam in the country in terms of the number of applicants. In the debut edition of CUET-UG, 12.50 lakh students registered themselves and 9.9 lakh submitted applications.
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Undergraduate (NEET-UG) for medical admissions is the largest entrance test in India with an average of 18 lakh registrations.
The University Grants Commission (UGC), in March last year, announced that undergraduate admissions will be conducted in all central universities through a common entrance test and not based on class 12 marks.
The debut edition of the CUET-UG was conducted in July last year and was marred by glitches, prompting the NTA to cancel the exam at multiple centres.
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