Prometric Website leaves Mumbai students hanging

Early birds don’t always get the worm.
A 24-year-old MBBS intern from Thane will have to travel all the way to Dehradun to appear for her PG medical entrance exam, NEET. Due to a technical error, she failed to secure Mumbai as centre despite registering on time.

Same thing happened to many others from the city when the online registration for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test 2013, which is being held for the first time this year, opened on Thursday at 9.30am. The registration was on a first-come-first-serve basis. Many who registered in the morning failed to get a centre in Mumbai and were forced to choose places such as Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand.

Ironically, those who logged in after 12.30pm were able to secure Mumbai easily.

Doctors said the website kept hanging at regular intervals. “We are feeling cheated; authorities should have warned us against accessing the website owing to the glitches,” a doctor said.

A doctor said she logged on at 9.30am. But as she was filling the three-part form, the website crashed within minutes. “I kept trying to log on till 4.30pm. When I finally got through and selected Mumbai as centre, it said all seats were filled. I tried other centres in Maharashtra and other big cities, but all seemed full. So I had to select Dehradun,” she said.

Another from Mulund said she faced similar problems and was forced to select Jharkhand. “I am scared of travelling to a Naxalite area alone. I registered on the first day, and I am having to suffer because of that. My friends who registered a day later were able to choose Mumbai,” said the 23-year-old intern who works in a government hospital in Thane.

Many believe this happened because the authorities miscalculated the number of aspirants across cities. “Big states such as Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have only one centre each, while Maharashtra has four. Even though the registration is open till November 12, NEET brochures stated it would be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Students were bound to rush on the first day itself. Authorities should have foreseen this situation,” said another doctor.

Dr Pravin Shingare, director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research said, “Students can get in touch with the examination body in Delhi to solve their doubts.”

Around 2,500 students from Mumbai and 7,000 from Maharashtra are expected to appear for the exam


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