The first day of online exams for final year end-semester students of the University of Madras on Monday was marred by technical glitches.

Many students complained that they could not download the question paper. The students had only one hour to download the same. A B.Com student’s relative said she had been trying to download the question paper without success. She sent the link to her relatives in a bid to access the same.

Another student from a college in Chromepet, who also faced the same difficulty, said the link did not open. Later his college forwarded the question paper to him.

The University decided to offer online exams, following instructions from the State government and the University Grants Commission, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Students could log in from their home and take the test. Around 60,000 students will be taking exams each day for five days from Monday.

University registrar M. Srinivasan said the problem was on the side of the service provider, BSNL, which had slowed down significantly during the crucial period. When the University held mock test two days ago its test site had received 24 lakh hits, he pointed out.

“The Principals of all colleges had been given access to the question papers. We had access to the papers on the physical server only till 10.30 a.m. after which we moved it to cloud space. Once we move it to cloud space the traffic will be managed,” he said.

Earlier, during the mock test the students had been given instructions. By 10.45 a.m. the students had contacted the colleges and received the question papers, he said.

The official said the students had an hour’s time to download the question paper and could have waited for some time. “The University had bought two 200 MBPS lines for the purpose. One was dedicated for B.Com students alone,” he added.

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