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nta: NTA tested new security protocol for a ‘completely’ secured computer-based tests

NEW DELHI: Drawing from past experiences in conducting computer-based tests, the National Testing Agency (NTA) decided to install a new “security patch” two hours before the start of University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) on Saturday.

This additional layer of safety measures means downloading and installing new software randomly. While most of the 304 centers had successful installation, seven centers were facing technical issues and the examinations had to be canceled. There are also some centers that require a long time for installation which causes delays in the examinations on the first transfer of up to two hours.

While this new feature will already be part of the exam safety and security protocol for all computer-based exams to be conducted by the NTA, including JEE (Mains) and CUET-UG, the agency has already decided to start adding the security patch four to five hours before the test.


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The NTA on Saturday announced that candidates from centers where exams have been canceled will once again get a chance to take the test, its official said as centers facing delays in the morning transfer exam at last completed the test and the candidates were given three hours.

Stating that the random installation of security patches is already part of the exam security protocol, the Agency has already decided to start the process from 4 a.m. on the day of testing, instead of 4 p.m. -7 a.m. for exams starting at 9 p.m.

Speaking to TOI, Vineet Joshi, director-general, NTA said that in order to make the system fully evidence, the agency decided to update the software with the new ‘security patch’ before the examinations.

“To ensure security and safety we decided to add new security patches to the system two hours before the exam. Last Saturday, which was the first time we tested this new layer of security, it took a long time to download and install the software, which resulted in delays and in some centers the exams were not possible.

According to Joshi, examinations at seven centers have been canceled. Some centers are able to start exams with a delay of up to two hours. “However, all the candidates were given the allotted three hours to complete the test,” he said.

NTA sources revealed that there were attempts made earlier to compromise its exams, which included booking examination centers a day before the exam for certain activities.

“In many measures, we request that centers that are completely isolated for any other activities do not need to be booked for any other activities where computers will be used. In addition, we usually remove the specific software used by the NTA once the exam is over. But this new protocol of randomly installing new software before the exam will ensure a completely secure exam, ”Joshi said.

The NTA admitted no technical glitches during the second shift test on Saturday. To eliminate the delay, “the administrative and technical staff responsible for conducting the exam will arrive at the centers at 4 a.m. instead of 7 p.m. It will take five hours to install the software, ”Joshi said.

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