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NEET PG 2012 registration and the related Chaos

October 7, 2012

 

 

 

For any one who is not aware what this NEET PG means is its a nation wide PG entrance exam in India for Medicos introduced in 2012 and there had been some chaos related to its registration, on which on share my views here.

Being a life deciding factor for medicos I could see a lot of frustration in this front. I too have  registered NEET for my medico friends. It is a concern and I lack knowledge to comment on the time of notice for the exam or quota or syllabi as I am a non – medico by profession.

But I wish to share what could be the other side of the story or a broader picture of this NEET scenario, a couple of things on technical aspects related to computers as a 3rd person. No offense meant nor I support to any one.Sorry for making it lengthy.

Why is it a Computer Based Test and not on papers as usual?

Being one of the important exam and a high population of more than lakh people writing every year which increases every time, the old paper-ledger methods don’t work. There needs more human effort and cost in transport of exam papers, where comes the SECURITY of exam data and the most important evaluation. Its highly error prone and time consuming at a large scale.

Thus at any point of time moving to a computer based test (CBT) becomes default. A machine dedicated to evaluate your results would not  commit any error unless there is intended human manipulation. And if in case there is a question on security in a CBT, if designed properly, the exam question would be distributed to you only at the moment you sit for the exam from a digitally secure single centralised server where we have more control on handling questions .

Why is the exam conducted across multiple days and not just on a single day?

Setting up a CBT for a lakh people  is a huge cost and task again. It is not just booking a school or college in a city to make the candidates sit with paper in any class room. It needs secure computers networked to connect with the centralized exam question server.

You could see all the venues are engineering colleges this time. The reason is only engineering colleges have 200-300 computers in a single place  and possibly  good network infrastructure to handle the scenario.

And it is not possible to book all colleges to make a lakh people sit on same day , monitor them. It needs a very great computer server facility like a IRCTC server or a Google server kind of setup to allow lakhs of people to a single computing machine. Its very high cost consuming process to set up for a single day exam in a year.

Thus a single day test is technically not possible at the moment and so the exam is spread across multiple days.

Reliabilty?

You might be aware that the NEET exam seems to be out sourced to a private organization called Prometric who is a world leader in online exam delivery. Prometric has a clear success story conducting almost all certification exams world wide and some more like USMLE, GRE etc. So possibly this exam should not have any question leakages or any mishap.

The Registration chaos 

The web server could only handle a specified number of users at a time, or else it would load itself and fail to work for none. If this kind of loading is done intentionally it is called as ‘denial of service attack’ in computer hacking terms.

Though it has been declared as a first come first serve service , there seems to be incremental addition of seats based on registrations which was not announced. It is a mistake. And it is also a fact that they have given dates for online registration till November 12th so which they would not have  expected so much load on the registration server on the very first day itself.

The major cause for such happening is the candidates rush to register themselves to reserve a seat in a centre nearby. There had been 57000 registration requests to the server on a single time which ultimately would cause the system to fail and also its a fact that they have restored the server in an hour which is really a commendable job .

In case if they allow such a thing to happen as CBT in a single day, no doubt you will be writing exam the scenario of NEET registration, waiting for questions to appear to you where the pages will load for ever.

There had been more than 120 intended hacking attempts to bring down the registering server for NEET  itself it seems as per the twitter status of NBE. https://twitter.com/neetpg2012  and all are avoided and protected.

Its such a secure system, if not, all the registration data would have been circulating in public web collected by hackers.

If  CBT happens on a same day , it would be the same case and  imagine all the question papers circulating public web. It would be awkward than anything. Such things wont happen as it seemed to be planned ahead for a good going. Hope for the best

More or less, major exams across the Globe are CBT and successfully go by this way.

 Point of contacts :

After all machines are just human creations and they too have only limited  capacity to handle.
It seems due to over loading , the candidate help line IVRS number has also failed and had been restored back .

They have given a contact page to resolve issues  and I get to know that they are responding on calls from yesterday.
Try them.
http://www.nbe.gov.in/neetpg/contact_us.php
and also a web mail link in the above page.

Seems they respond well on twitter too, giving live updates of their status and they have mentioned about uploading a practice test soon.
No Panic.
Keep cool and Wish you all the Best!

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