Following DU Semester Exam 2020 Date sheet’s announcement, the varsity is now preparing to hold Mock Tests to help familiarise students with the Open Book Test format that will be used for conducting exams this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequent restrictions.
On 30th May 2020, the university announced a set of guidelines that are to be followed by the colleges in conducting the open book examinations for all final year students. One of the prime guidelines is to conduct a mock test to help the students to become accustomed to the new exam system before they give the actual examinations. “Mock tests shall be available on the portal one week prior from the commencement of the examinations to facilitate the students who are appearing for examinations to become aware about the mode of examinations and use of tools required for downloading question papers and uploading scanned answer sheets after the completion of examinations,” said the university.
“The mock exams will be beneficial as help me to prepare for the examination by simulating the actual conditions in which the exams will subsequently take place, especially from the point of view of time management. The mock tests will also assuage my anxiety regarding the online open book format of examinations since I’ve never experienced them before,” said Tejas, a final year student at Zakir Husain Delhi College.
Apart from mock tests, other measures as proposed by the University of Delhi include colleges notifying students through email and other modes of communications about any updates regarding examinations as well getting a per forma filled up by students stating that no unfair means are being used by them.
Though the decision came in the midst of immense opposition from the students and teachers who form a large portion of the stake holders in the system, the university justified their decision claiming that, due to the prevailing circumstances, examination in the traditional method can’t possibly be conducted due to the prevailing government norms, so this mode of examinations was adopted after due deliberation.
The university has also announced that students who may miss out on giving the examinations due to technical limitations or other issues will be given a chance to appear for the traditional pen and paper based examination later on, when the situation normalizes.
The university is also planning to make arrangements for the required IT infrastructure and facilities in collaboration with the government in areas which lack hardware and internet facilities, so as to ensure that maximum number of students are able to give their examinations and aren’t deprived of their opportunity due to technical limitations.
“The University of Delhi is bound to protect the interests of those students who are residing in areas like Jammu and Kashmir and other such areas all over India which lack the internet and hardware facility required for the OBE and have stuck up at their places due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To facilitate such students the University of Delhi as a major measure, has finalized to engage Common Service Centres (CSC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India,” said the university.
The university has also asked the colleges to invite online requests from students in case they need to use ICT infrastructure during examinations. If these requests are very high in number, then the colleges can advise the students to avail and use the facilities available at the Common Service Centre (CSC) near their residence.
“The students shall be allowed to use the ICT infrastructure resources available with the CSC for downloading and taking print out of the question papers, scanning and uploading the answer sheets on the portal. The students can avail all these facilities free of cost available at CSCs. There are more than two lakh functional CSCs located at almost all Gram Panchayats at village level throughout India and all of them shall be available for the students,” said the varsity.
However, despite all these measures proposed by the university, the open book mode of examination continues to draw opposition and criticism. ‘DU has ignored the fact that 85% of the students have rejected the OBE. They are under tremendous stress. Many of them are not in places that are conducive for studying for or writing exams,’ said Rajib Ray, President of the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA). The DUTA also exclaimed that the open book mode won’t be feasible at all since teaching has been uneven since the lockdowns started and many students don’t even have access to study material. It has also been pointed out by the DUTA CSC facilities are largely inadequate and cramped.
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