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Demand grows to chuck CUET, consider class 12 performance

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 16: The Voice of the People Party (VPP) on Thursday said NEHU and the state government should ensure that the admission for undergraduate courses is based on the performances of the students in their class 12 examinations and not on their CUET scores.
“The CUET fiasco inflicted upon the students who had to appear for the exam at NEHU revealed the lack of preparedness and sheer irresponsibility by the National Testing Agency, the state government and the NEHU administration,” VPP leader and member of the media cell, Rusievan Shangpliang said.
“It was unfortunate that the students faced the ordeal as there was none to look after their welfare. The students had to wait nearly three hours from the stipulated time to write their exam,” he said.
“The chaotic conduct of the examination subjected the students to great stress that might have affected their performance. The VPP had previously warned the state government on the matter inside and outside the Assembly,” he added.
Shangpliang said it is regrettable that the state government, especially the education minister, chose to be indifferent to the fate of the students.
“Further, the college principals, as reported in the media, did not receive proper instructions from either the state government or NEHU on CUET for admission. This lackadaisical attitude of the authorities made the students suffer,” he said.
Stating that the VPP came to know about many students in rural areas failing to register for CUET due to the lack of awareness, right information, and guidance, Shangpliang said: “In this context, we want NEHU and the state government to ensure that students get admission for undergraduate courses based on their class 12 results and not on their CUET scores.”
KSU expresses concern
The Khasi Students’ Union also expressed concern over the chaotic and distressing situation witnessed during the CUET UG 2024 examination held at NEHU and asked the state government to take immediate action and ensure such incidents do not recur.
“The union urges your esteemed office to take immediate action to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future. This includes providing better facilities, such as clear signage, adequate seating arrangements, and functioning biometric systems, to facilitate a smooth examination process,” the KSU said in a letter to Education Minister Rakkam A. Sangma.
The KSU suggested strengthening security to address overcrowding and ensure the safety and well-being of all applicants.
“As a union committed to the welfare and rights of students, we are troubled by the lack of organisation and infrastructure that led to such a challenging experience for the applicants,” it stated.
The KSU stated that the applicants had to wait hours without proper direction or signage to guide them to their exam halls. The confusion was further exacerbated as the admit card provided by NTA said the exam centre was in the NEHU Cluster Building. However, NEHU set up two examination centres in the Non-Science and Science cluster classrooms, without properly and timely notifying the candidates as to which hall their roll numbers were assigned to.
“The delay in the commencement of the English subject examination, caused by the malfunctioning biometric system, resulted in students standing in the rain and in a stampede-like situation for extended periods, leading to many candidates fainting and needing medical attention,” the KSU said.
It expressed disappointment that the students could enter the examination room around 5.15 pm instead of 3 pm after NEHU received clearance from the NTA to conduct the exam without the mandatory biometric registration.
“This is an evident lack of preparedness by both the state government and the university to host such a large-scale examination, particularly regarding the security measures to manage the crowd. The unacceptable delay in starting the examination, which exposed students to adverse weather conditions, underscores the urgent need for improved planning and coordination,” the KSU said.
BJP demands action against organisers
The Meghalaya BJP also took a dim view of the chaos and almost inhuman suffering of the CUET aspirants and has asked the organisers of CUET to come up with a satisfactory justification for the harassment faced by the unfortunate examinees, failing which the party threatened to take up the matter with the government to ensure legal action against the blundering organisers.
“Our heart goes out to the students and their guardians who faced immeasurable physical and mental trauma before the examination. Students need to sit for an examination with a calm mind and this situation must have taken a serious toll on one’s ability to answer the question paper,” Meghalaya BJP spokesperson Arnab Das said on Thursday.
The party said it was difficult to comprehend how an examination of such importance can be handled in such a callous and inept manner.
“We urge the state Education department to look into this and take appropriate action against the organisers of the CUET,” Das added.
HYC demands inquiry
The Hynniewtrep Youth Council demanded an inquiry into the CUET fiasco.
The HYC also submitted a letter to the Education minister, stating that the students were subjected to great distress and hardship, and demanding that officers responsible for this unforgivable error should be held accountable for their poor disposal of duty.
The group also asked the government to appoint a Nodal Officer in the state who would be in direct contact with the NTA, besides setting up a helpline to facilitate and assist the students of the state appearing for CUET.
The group also asked the government to communicate clearly to the NTA to ensure that there should be no further hindrance and inconvenience caused to the students of the state who are yet to appear the CUET.
The HYC also appealed the state government to ensure that educational institutes in Meghalaya provide an option through which students of the state can secure admissions by means other than their CUET scores.

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