NLAT Exam 2020
NLAT Exam 2020
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A day before NLAT 2020, students face technical issues in mock exams

On the eve of NLAT 2020, a number of candidates called in, highlighting irregularities in the mock exam procedure.

Bar & Bench

After much controversy, the courts have finally given National Law School of India University (NLSIU) the go-ahead to conduct the National Law Aptitude Test (NLAT 2020) tomorrow.

However, on the eve of the exam, a number of candidates have highlighted irregularities in the mock exam procedure, causing them to wonder whether the same will occur during tomorrow's exam.

The suddenness of the announcement to hold a separate entrance examination at such short notice, coupled with the initial technical requirements, gave students much cause for concern.

NLSIU has subsequently tried to ensure that the technological needs to write the exam do not deter candidates from attempting to gain admission to India's premier legal education institution. In a number of releases issued, the University has attempted to assuage the students of the various issues that have been raised.

In order to enable candidates to get accustomed to the online proctored exam, NLSIU undertook mock exams from September 9 till today. However, the mock exam has not achieved its intended objective, with scores of students facing difficulties today. Below are some of the issues faced.

Students were not informed of their respective slots in time, with some receiving a notification for a 12:30 slot at 12:45pm. Other students were informed of their slot after after the mock time had lapsed. At least 23 students reported that they were not provided with a slot on time.

Some students received the notification for the mock exam through SMS, some through email, some through Instagram, while a few received no notification at all.

Password Error, Delayed emails
Password Error, Delayed emails

Those who missed out on the notification for the first slot were given a slot for the second session, only to face the same issue once again.

Another problem that arose was the time taken to verify the students. Some candidates had to wait for as long as half an hour before they could start writing the mock exam.

Though the answers to FAQs posted on the NLSIU website state that the mock exams would not be proctored, some students were required to be verified by a human proctor. This procedure took one and a half hours for one student, whose face could not be identified by the proctor.

CLAT mentor Rajneesh Singh says that out of 48 of his students, 10-12 students were unable to take the mock exams. There was no one to address the grievances of these students.

He also pointed out that some students have started getting notifications for the slot in which they will write the exam tomorrow. In these email notifications , some have not received passwords to log in.

Students have also raised concerns that there are various methods by which malpractices can take place during the exam, and that the proctoring system may not be fool-proof.

With the first session of NLAT 2020 scheduled to take place less than 16 hours from now, students are apprehensive that they may face the same issues during the real exam.

The general sentiment is that today’s mock exam should have been an example to assure the students that the entire process would go by smoothly. Given the various issues faced, that simply has not happened.

Singh says that despite all these flaws, students must put their best foot forward. He says,

"The matter is still pending before the Supreme Court. If anything goes wrong, the Court will scrap the exam. So the students should be confident and give their best, whatever happens."

Addressing the students' concerns about potential malpractices that may occur, he says,

"If at all cheating happens during the exam, it will be noticeable, and they will do something about it."

In fact, the University has assured students that no candidate who engages in malpractice shall secure admission to NLSIU. A release to this effect states,

"We urge all candidates to take no risks with the proctoring and technological restrictions in place for the examination. Our integrity measures will come into full effect during and after the examination process as we review a comprehensive electronic record of the examination. While we cannot prevent a student's attempt to circumvent these integrity measures, any evidence of examination malpractice will be taken extremely seriously and will result in disqualification."

Release issued by NLSIU Registrar Prof Sarasu Thomas

As per another release from the University, over 27,500 candidates are eligible to write the exam. 35 test centres across the country have been equipped and readied for those students who are unable to write the exam from their homes.

[Read the release on examination integrity]

Examination-Integrity-Announcement.pdf
Preview

[Read the release on numbers for NLAT 2020]

NLAT 2020 numbers.pdf
Preview
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