Mid-way through NIMHANS exam, server says ‘stop’

Thousands of students across the country were in for a shock when their computer screens turned blank on Sunday afternoon, midway through an online entrance test to National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). Pat came a message that the online test has been scrapped and they would be informed about the new dates. 

NIMHANS was conducting its online entrance test for selection to the super speciality/ post-doctoral fellowship / medical and non-medical courses for the academic year 2014-15. Around 5,584 students were simultaneously writing the exam at 18 centres across Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune on Sunday for 30 courses offered by the premier institute. The exam was divided into four sessions. However, all the sessions were plagued with problems, across centres. 

Though the server worked fine in the first session, many students complained that they were issued wrong question papers. One of the students told PG Times that it took him almost half an hour out of 90 minutes to figure out the question paper, only to be told later that it was a wrong one. 

The real problem started in the second and third sessions. During the afternoon session, around 4.30 pm, the servers completely went blank, creating chaos. Officials who were looking into the issue realised that the servers had crashed and there was no point conducting the fourth session. So the entire exam was cancelled. 

However, NIMHANS officials maintained server problems are common to all online exams. NIMHANS registrar Dr V Ravi said, "It is true that the server crash is the first time in the history of our institution, though such crashes are not uncommon. However, we want to assure students that they need not worry as we have taken a decision to cancel all the exams of Sunday even if the servers were okay. All students need to take exams afresh. The new dates may be in May. We have also launched an inquiry as to why the server crashed and will ensure that this is not repeated in the next exam." 

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