Students who went to buy Combined Aptitude Test for English (CATE) forms for admission to Delhi University on Monday, the last day of collection and submission of forms, were in for a rude shock. A demand draft of Rs 300 from State Bank of India is needed to buy the form, but the students could not make the drafts due to SBI’s server failure.
“We reached Delhi in the morning and have come straight to collect the CATE form. But we were told at the SBI counter that the servers are down and the demand draft cannot be made,” said Kanika Khurana, an applicant from Karnal, who was in Hindu College to collect the CATE form.
Anxious students ran from one SBI branch to another to find out if they were working. Ritika Hans, another applicant, spent the entire day trying to make the draft. She went to the Hindu College, Kashemere Gate and Connaught Place branches, but without any luck. Campus Calling Bags and Guides
The problem with SBI servers did not spare colleges in south Delhi either. “I have been standing in line to get a draft for the CATE form but the servers have been down for two hours,” said Ritu Sharma, an applicant who wanted to buy a form from Kamla Nehru College. An SBI official said, “The server is down at Mumbai. We don’t even have any material for the manual drafts, so we cannot prepare it.”
By 11 am, counsellors and teachers of the varsity were flooded with calls from worried parents and students. “After we received reports from the colleges selling CATE forms, we decided that drafts from all subsidiary banks such as Sate Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Maharashtra. Drafts from ICICI would be accepted. We called all the colleges and informed them about the same,” said Tapan Basu, convenor of CATE. Campus Calling Cars
Explaining the decision about accepting drafts from only SBI banks, Basu said it was a decision taken by the university. “Multiplicity of banks would have created confusion, hence the decision.” The colleges were also asked to extend their deadlines. “The day colleges accepted the forms till 4 pm and the evening colleges opened their counter at 2 pm, two hours before schedule and accepted the forms till 9 pm. We tried our best to help the students,” added Basu.
Parents and students wanted the date for collection and submission of forms to be extended by a day. “But that would have upset the whole schedule. Close to 9,000 forms have to be scanned and the admit cards need to be uploaded by June 5. All these will need at least four days and the entrance is on June 9, so we could not extend the dates,” said Basu.
While the college authorities tried to help the students, some students missed out applying for CATE due to the server failure and the subsequent confusion about the demand drafts. Those who waited for the last day to buy the form regretted their decision. “I wish I had bought the form earlier. English (H) is one of my top course choices,” said Kanika Sandhu, an applicant who was at Lady Shri Ram College to pick up the form.