Candidates who were to appear for the exam at a college in New Panvel were told by staff to go to a Kandivli college; most claim they got messages too late, or not at all
Pillai College of Engineering in New Panvel where the aspirants were initially scheduled to take the exam
Exam day turned into a distressing experience for scores of students appearing for the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) as they had to run from one exam centre in New Panvel, where they were scheduled to write the exam, to one in the western suburbs.
This goof-up took place at Pillai College of Engineering in New Panvel as around 150 students were told by the staff there that they had to go to another exam centre miles away instead. Most of the students who managed to reach the Kandivli centre were allowed to appear for the test in the second shift. Arth Pola was among the aspirants who had to run from one suburb to the other on Monday, hoping to not miss the exam.
“My son was appearing for the second attempt of JEE (Main) exam and was scheduled to appear for the same at Pillai College of Engineering in New Panvel in the first shift from 9 am to 12 pm. We live in Borivli and reached the centre at 7.30 am as entry is stopped after 8.30 am. However, the staff there told us that the exam centre is now Thakur College of Engineering in Kandivli. I requested the staff to check if there was some mistake or to allow my son to appear for the exam there, but they asked us to go to the Kandivli centre,” said Jagdish Pola, Arth’s father.
Worried, Pola called the helpline number of the National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducts JEE. “The person on the other side kept insisting that we were informed about the change in exam centre via email, SMS and even a phone call. When I checked, I saw that I received an SMS at around 12.30 am, but by that time we had slept as we had to start early the next day. Is it right to inform the candidate at 12.30 am about the change in the exam centre? We were told that nothing can be done,” said Pola.
The father-son duo, like scores of other candidates, rushed to Kandivli, but to their dismay, entry was denied. It was only after repeated requests that Arth was allowed inside at 10.05 am but was sent out again at 11.30 am. “He was asked to wait for the second shift, which starts at 3 pm and entry is allowed from 1.30 pm. This just made the students anxious. Who will take the responsibility for this goof up,” asked Pola.
Ziledar Kanojia, Malad resident and father of Ajay Mohan, another JEE aspirant, said, “We travelled all the way from Malad to New Panvel and then came back to Kandivli. My son got nervous and anxious due to all the running around. We had received a message about the change of centre at 9.21 am on Monday, the day of the exam. As it was getting late, I had to leave for work and had no clue if Ajay was allowed to sit for the exam in the second shift as phones are not allowed at the centres. It was a stressful day for all.”
Some other candidates said they did not even get any messages about the venue change. Arun Kale, father of another aspirant, said, “We reached the exam centre on time around 7.45 am and then were told that the centre has been changed. We frantically called the NTA helpline but in vain. We decided to rush to the new exam centre but it took us over two hours to reach Kandivli.”
P V Niranjan, registrar of Pillai College of Engineering, told mid-day, “We have a capacity of accommodating only 90 students as we have fewer computers. When we got to know that more than 190 students were allotted seats at our college, we requested NTA to divert some students to another centre. However, the changes were made at the last minute. As per our knowledge, messages were sent to the candidates. We made arrangements to accommodate students who came late.”
Distance between the two colleges (in km)
Approx travel time