DU Cancels Exams For First and Second Year Students; Adopts Alternate Evaluation

Delhi University will not be conducting exams for intermediate semester students of UG and PG courses. Opts for 50% internals and 50% previous semester marking.

On 4th June 2020, the University of Delhi released a notification related to the submission of marks of Internal Assessment, practical examinations and adoption of Open Book Exams. In the notification, the university declared that it has decided to not conduct examinations for the first year and second-year students of undergraduate courses and the first-year students of Postgraduate courses. Instead, the students will be graded on the basis of internal evaluation, assignment submission and previous semester’s marks.

The grading of the students could be composite of 50% marks on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation/assignment based evaluation adopted by the university/colleges/ faculty/ centre wherever applicable and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester/term/year only.  For students of intermediate semester/term/year, having no previous performance i.e. having no marks in previous semester/term /year shall be graded on the basis of 100% assignment based evaluation,” said the university.

The university’s decision comes after a series of deliberations and discussions among the various departments of the university. “The matter was intensively deliberated in the bodies i.e. Task Force constituted by the University in view of COVID-19 and the Working Group on Examinations, based on which it has been decided that as a one-time measure, alternative mode of grading for promotion/results shall be adopted as per composite format for calculating the same for the Intermediate semester/term/year students for the academic session 2019-2020 so that students of the university can take their career forward,” said Vinay Gupta, Dean of Examinations, University of Delhi.

This one-time measure taken by the university due to COVID-19 situation is meant for the students in regular colleges as well as those in the School of Open Learning (SOL) and the Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB).

Additionally, the notification mentions guidelines for Undergraduate Students (Annual Mode), including SOL, NCWEB, and 2nd Semester PG students. Students are advised to read the notification correctly. The notification can be found here.

Guidelines for Undergraduate students (Annual Mode), including SOL and NCWEB and first-year Postgraduate Students are as follows:

1) Grading to be done on the basis of 50% on assignment-based evaluation and 50% marks on the basis of performance in the previous semester/ year. However, ex-students are required to appear for the exams as per the Varsity-shared DU date sheet.

2) SOL and NCWEB students must submit their assignments according to the timetable notified by their respective colleges. Questions for the assignment shall be based on the applicable syllabus from the student’s courses.

3) The schedule, calendar, and guidelines for the assignment-based evaluation shall be decided by the SOL for the SOL students and by NCWEB for the students registered with the NCWEB. The calendar and guidelines for the students of PG registered with SOL and NCWEB should be released after due consultation with the Head of the respective departments.

4) All questions for assignment-based evaluation shall be bilingual wherever applicable.

5) Students would be required to submit their assignments on the portal, as would be notified by SOL/ NCWEB within the stipulated time as notified.

6) For the students who are unable to submit their assignments within the notified time, the decision to allow all such students would be notified in August 2020. If permitted, all such students would then be required to fill the exam forms again.

7) The carry-forward system (for the subjects in which the student has failed in previous years) shall be allowed for the students in this academic year. All such students, however, would be required to clear the examinations for the course in which he/she has failed/remained absent and carry forward papers, when the exams are held next year.

8) All the students will be allowed to improve their grades in the succeeding year.

The Guidelines for SOL students under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) mode are as follows-

1) Students of the academic session 2019-2020 who are enrolled under the CBCS mode in which exams of both semesters (Semester 1 and 2) are pending, grading will be done based on the performance of both the first and second semester separately. All such students shall have to submit their assignment for the first and the second semester as per the schedule notified and communicated by SOL accordingly.

2) Students who have essential reappears (ERs) as well as those wishing to improve their grades, would be permitted to do so as per the semester cycle – odd semester papers to be held in January 2021 and even semester papers in May/June 2021.

The University has also advised all students to be in touch with the official website of the University of Delhi ( for updates related to examinations and their respective websites of college/departments/faculties /SOL/NCWEB.

This decision which comes amidst great opposition and criticism against the open book format for exams has been welcomed by the student community. The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), in a Press Release, congratulated the students. “The NSUI congratulates the first and second students of Delhi University as they have won their rights,” said Neeraj Kundan, President, NSUI.

“The pestilence has brought upon us fettering challenges, ones that aren’t equally distributed and include a plethora of issues like lack of accessibility, a vacuum in the name of learning and cosmic mental pressures. The University’s decision to mothball exams for first- and second-year students are in the best interest of the students and education in general,” says Zinnia, a first-year student at St. Stephen’s College.

Although the first- and second-year students of the university have been spared of the much-criticized open book exam format, the final-year students and ex-students are still required to write the online open-book exams. “The University of Delhi in this difficult time endeavours to continue with the examinations related for the final year students as per date sheets notified so that our students can achieve their future goals,” said the Varsity.

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Abhinandan Kaul
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