CAT Online Marred By Technical Glitches On Day 3

There was no end to the plight of IIM aspirants as technical glitches continued to disrupt the computer-based Common Admission Test (CAT) for the third consecutive day on Monday. Candidates could not appear in the
cat online marred by technical glitches on day 3...
PTI November 30, 2009 23:27 IST

There was no end to the plight of IIM aspirants as technical glitches continued to disrupt the computer-based Common Admission Test (CAT) for the third consecutive day on Monday.

Candidates could not appear in the test at a few centres in Mumbai, Bangalore and Ghaziabad due to technical problems due to malfunctioning of computers at these places.

The situation was worse at a lab in IMS Ghaziabad, where students protested for not being able to appear in the test.

About 2.41 lakh students are scheduled to appear in the test for admission into seven IIMs and a few other B-Schools.

The American firm Prometric, which has been awarded an USD 40 million contract by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) to computerise the prestigious CAT, did not prefer to make any comment on the fresh developments.

The IIM directors are livid with the exam delivery of Prometric. They held a meeting with the representatives of Prometic on Sunday evening. 

Nearly 4,000 students could not appear in the test in the first two days of the ten-day long staggered exam that started on Saturday.   

Prometric said on Sunday the problems occurred due to virus attack which could be checked.  On Sunday, the test was rescheduled at 24 centres for carrying out repairs.

Candidates, who could not appear in the test, have been notified and their exams are being rescheduled within the testing period, said Prometric.

The firm has said it has generated new appointments for individuals who could not take the test and they are in the process of being contacted through SMS and email messages.

The launch of the computerised CAT involved delivery of exams at more than 360 testing labs in 104 centres.

The computer-based test was marred by technical glitches on Saturday soon after the exam was started.

Students faced problems in opening the computers at the exam centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Bhopal.

The labs that were closed on Sunday include 11 in Bangalore, eight in Bhopal, six each in Lucknow and Mumbai, five in Delhi, four in Ghaziabad, two each in Varanasi and Hyderabad and one each in Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Kolkata and Coimbatore.

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad director Samir Barua on Monday said the main hindrance for the smooth conduct of the first ever computer-based Common Admission Test (CAT) is virus attacks.

"The major reason (for hindrance on the computer-based test) appears to be virus attacks. Though all precautions had been taken to ensure that our computer labs are insulated of such attack, even then there is always the possibility of virus attacks," Barua told reporters in  Ahmedabad.

Barua assured the students, who have failed to take the test, that they would be able to give the test after it is rescheduled.

The computer-based test has been marred by technical glitches from the very first day on Saturday. Students faced problems in opening the computers at the exam centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Bhopal.

On the second day too, hundreds of students were unable to appear in the test as repairs were being carried out at nearly 50 labs in 24 centres where computers suffered virus attack.

"In some of the case the problem was of hardware," Barua said.

 "On behalf of IIMs, I would like to guarantee all the students who have not been able to take the exams due to the glitch that they will be rescheduled. If we do not do that we have failed to do our duty," Barua said.

"We recognise their inconvenience and we also empathises with the students. Their test will be rescheduled and we have already kept slots to meet this kind of eventuality," he said.

Barua, flanked by officials of US firm Prometric that has been awarded an USD 40 million contract to computerise CAT, said there are 104 centres where the exams are being held.

About the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) seeking report from the IIMs about the glitch in CAT, Barua said, "As far as MHRD is concerned, they have asked for information, and that information we would be able to provide as soon as we are able to get it from Prometric." PTI

 
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