Srinagar, May 17: Hundreds of students have been left in a state of despair after the National Testing Agency (NTA) designated their exam centres for Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-2023 outside Jammu and Kashmir.
The decision has left students, especially those from impoverished backgrounds in a state of distress, saying they can’t afford the travel expenses.
The NTA's decision to establish exam centers outside J&K has caused significant disruption and added burden on these ambitious students, who were already overburdened with the challenges of preparing for the highly competitive entrance test.
"The majority of these candidates hail from financially disadvantaged families, where covering the costs of traveling outside Jammu and Kashmir becomes an obstacle," said Nisar Ahmad, a student.
The dejected students said they had given their preference for exam centre within Kashmir but were left in a state of shock after they came to know their exam centre was allotted outside Jammu and Kashmir.
As the news broke about their exam centers being located outside their home state, the aspirants and their concerned parents staged a protest at the Srinagar Press Enclave.
Demanding a prompt resolution to this issue, the aggrieved parents passionately appealed for the immediate relocation of their children's exam centers to Kashmir.
"The decision to move the exam centres outside Jammu and Kashmir not only places an undue financial burden on families already struggling to make ends meet but also exposes their children to unnecessary hardship and exhaustion," the protesting parents said.
They said that these aspiring students have been diligently preparing for the CUET and deserve fair and equitable treatment in the examination process.
The parents urged the concerned authorities particularly NTA to reconsider and rectify the exam center allocation, enabling the students to take the CUET within Kashmir.
An official in the Higher Education Department (HED) said the matter will be discussed with NTA to ascertain on what basis they have allotted exam centres to Valley students outside Kashmir.
This year all the J&K Universities decided to take admissions to Under Graduate (UG) and PG courses through a written test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) from the current academic session.
The NTA will conduct Common University Entrance Test (CUET) - 2023 for admission to undergraduate programmes into Central Universities and other participating Universities, institutions and autonomous Colleges.