University Grants Commission's (UGC) high-tech procedure to apply for the National Eligibility Test (NET)-Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) exam has left applicants in trouble once again, as the link to the website is crashing after repeated intervals.
This is not for the first time that the NET-JRF aspirants have been facing such problems. Problems with the UGC website had appeared in 2011 as well. However, the UGC had rectified it and the date for submission of forms was also extended.
The UGC this time had also extended the last date by two days, but the problem with the website link is still troubling students, as it is not only wasting their valuable time but putting an extra financial burden on them.
The last date to apply online for the NET-JRF was April 30, which on Saturday was extended up to May 2. The exam is scheduled to be held on June 24.
In 2011, the students were not getting confirmation mails from the UGC after registering on the website, however, problem this time was different, as the website link was not opening for hours and when it opened it was crashing at short intervals.
Students, who were trying to fill their forms, rued that the process was not only wasting time, but was costing more than the earlier manual system.
"There are plenty of problems with the UGC site. For the past five days, the website link has not been working. Fortunately it worked today, but it consumed the whole of my day and I had to spend Rs 200 on that for using internet at a cyber café," said Poonam, a NET applicant and a student of department of journalism and mass communication at Himachal Pradesh University (HPU).
Another student from the same department, Nikita Sharma, said she had been trying to fill the form online for the past few days and has not been lucky enough as the site hasn't been working.
"I have already paid Rs 450 for the fee and am afraid if the problem continues, I will lose my money. Besides, all my hard work that was spent in preparing for the exam will be wasted," she said.
Another candidate, Surender Kumar, who is teaching at a private college in Hamirpur, said UGC should not only rectify the problem with the website, but should also continue with the earlier system of hand-filled application forms.
"We are grateful to the UGC for extending the date, but time given is limited. If the problem continues hundreds of applicants will be left empty-handed even after submitting the fee," Kumar said.
He demanded that UGC should rectify the problem immediately. However, no officials of the UGC at New Delhi office could be contacted for comments as Saturday was a holiday. UGC had introduced the online system of filling forms in June 2010 to ease the process as online system automatically generates the centre and subject-wise roll numbers for candidates.