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CLAT 2018 was 98.5% smooth, says Nuals Kochi, promises to investigate, but many of 59,300+ candidates faced problems, some filed police complaints

CLAT 2018: Unreliable.
CLAT 2018: Unreliable.

The Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2018 could be the worst edition of the exam conducted in recent years yet, according to the reports of lapses flowing in from various exam centers, even resulting in at least one police complaint filed by candidates since yesterday.

Over 59,300 candidates appeared in the CLAT 2018 for LLB and LLM seats across 22 national law universities (NLU), CLAT 2018 convenor Nuals Kochi’s vice chancellor Prof Rose Varghese told us today.

With around 300-500 students attempting the CLAT 2018 at each test centre and with reportedly at least 14 centres experiencing technical glitches, yesterday’s exam could have potentially occurred in test centres at which 10% or more of this year’s total candidates were sitting.

Varghese said the convenor to look into any problems, and told us: “We are looking into each and every report. At 1.5% [of the total] centres computers failed and immediately [the candidates] were given the time. I will manually look into the computer login report.

“They were given 20 minutes if they lost 20 mins, if they lost 10 mins they were given 10 mins. But the students are young so they are reacting.”

As feared after the unfriendly user interface of the CLAT demo test site was revealed, the online test interface for yesterday’s exam was too weak to handle its recent changes that were introduced by Sify Technologies - the technical contractor for CLAT 2018. Reports of systems crashing and hanging and breaking down during the exam in various ways resulting in candidates losing time as well as panicking, have come in so far from Delhi, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Indore, Faridabad, Dehradun, Lucknow, Mysore, Thane, Nagpur, Patiala and Jaipur, according to Twitter, as reported by Lawctopus, Law Entrance, the Express and other media.

Glitches allegedly included, among others:

  • The test starting with blank screens with no questions, candidates having to restart it after losing 10 minutes
  • Computers hanging
  • Test timers continuing to run even though the test would hang
  • Electricity cuts
  • Extremely slow biometric verification
  • Discrepancy between the test time allotted to various candidates
  • Infrastructural deficiencies such as miscommunicated centre names or locations, misallotment of seats at centre, no pen and paper provided whereas it is a requirement, no practice test done as the centre was running late, centre not properly ventilated, etc.
  • mouse not working properly
  • Tabs not working smoothly - sometimes skipping questions, at other times not saving answers|


Police complaint in Jaipur

Seven students affected at the exam centre at the Radhakrishnan Institute of Technology, Jaipur have filed a police complaint against two invigilators at their centre for depriving them of the extra time they were entitled to and later allegedly “absconding” from the centre without addressing the grievances of candidates and their parents.

Statements of four of the seven complainants have been recorded.

According to one of the complainants whom we spoke to, out of around 8 exam rooms at the centre all the computers in at least one room, which had around 25 candidates, were allegedly experiencing “technical errors” on the ground of which the invigilators had allegedly promised those candidates 30 minutes extra time over the two hours officially allotted for answering the CLAT. The invigilators allegedly refused to disclose exactly what the “technical errors” were, eventually did not allow the students the extra time they were assured of and even used force by themselves clicking on the “exit” button on the candidates’ computer screens causing the test to close, and then asking the candidates to leave the premises.

The complainant told us that after the affected candidates and their parents collectively raised a furore at the centre the invigilators assured them that they would help them get an undertaking signed by Sify Technologies that there were technical errors in the test which harmed these students. However, even as the candidates prepared the content of the undertaking the invigilators allegedly escaped the premises.

The invigilators were allegedly NLU faculty members. The FIR is registered in the Mahindra SEZ police station in Jaipur.

Varghese commented today: “We sit here for 260 centres all over India. We conducted mock tests in every single centre. I was very particular that my observer went to every single centre.

“There was a technical error. Young children naturally make a big noise when there is a delay. The moment they said it our service providers immediately restarted it. We have the record here. It is too soon for me to share the record but somewhere there is a fault of the local servers. Our Sify report - log report will decide it. It will be done.”

“I am doing this whole thing with an extremely efficient team sitting with me. 90% centres went very smooth. Believe me I will not give you any wrong report. It just got over yesterday so can’t say by when [there will be a resolution] but we are looking at it,” she added.

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