The Examination Branch of University of Delhi (DU) has a released notification regarding the postponement of final-year open book examinations in the view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic.
Delhi University has postponed the open book examinations (OBE) for final semester students.?The former scheduled which stated the date of commencement as July 1 will now begin on July 10 as per varsity’s latest notification.
Some of the information disseminated through the notification is as follows:
“The new date sheets for all UG (undergraduate) and PG (postgraduate) programmes including SOL (School of Open Learning) and NCWEB (Non Collegiate Women’s Education Board) of final semester/term/year examinations in OBE mode shall be notified by examination branch on 03.07.2020 and examination will commence from 10.07.2020.”
“The mock test to facilitate students appearing for examinations for awareness about the procedures of OBE mode, to be conducted remotely, shall start from 04.07.2020. A separate notification shall be issued by the examination branch regarding all the details of Mock test before the commencement of the test”
The aforementioned notification comes after a series of developments such as the twitter trend “#DUAgainstOnlineExams”, numerous petitions, involvement of the High Court, protests including the latest National Protest on 22nd June 2020 and directions by the University Grants Commission (UGC) from the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Many student centric organisations have articulated their response with respect to the notification.
Academics for Action and Development (AAD) in its Press Release condemned the “uncertainty created by the troika of MHRD-UGC-VC” over online OBE stating-
“lakhs of students and their parents have been made victims of policy inconsistencies being imposed by the troika – making decisions in top-down centralised arbitrary manner.”
Issues regarding the mock tests and logistical roadblocks were also stated.
“The administration wants to buy time to try and rectify technical shortcomings. Hence, the postponement has no relation to students’ welfare. It is an act of extreme selfishness on the part of the VC to insist on going ahead with the OBE despite the difficulties faced by students and the irreparable harm caused to the sanctity and credibility of the examinations process.”Saikat Ghosh, a member of the Academic Council affirmed,
“The university is not keeping in mind the hardships faced by a large number of students. The Students do not have relevant study material with them as they had to vacate their hostels and rooms amid lockdown. Differently abled students are severely affected and it would be difficult for them to appear for such exam. Students are going through a lot of mental pressure due to uncertainty and discontinuation of their studies. Therefore we demand the cancellation of exams and promotion of students based on their previous performances & assessments as it will also save their precious time.”Sumit Kataria, the President of SFI Delhi said
The circular majorly affects third year students as their examinations intersect with the contemporary global pandemic.
“Students have been waiting for a firm announcement from the examination department. We keep receiving vague information and do not receive adequate response from DU. Students are facing a lot of issues in the wake of the pandemic- infrastructural inadequacy, negative effect on mental health and much more. With such issues, examinations are an added issue. We had prepared ourselves but then the varsity decides to turn its discourse, this is not fair to anybody. I do not feel that a delay will be beneficial. I am not certain about the value of effectiveness of such measures”Anoushka Sharma, a final-year student of Delhi School of Journalism
After a huge and continued momentum of opposition from teachers and students due to lack of proper environment, inability to access pre-requisite resources and other unfavourable conditions, the university latest step is likely to face opposition. Further developments are awaited.
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