On Friday, Student Federation of India (SFI) released a statement that deemed the High Court ruling on Delhi University (DU) Online Book Examinations (OBE) as disheartening for the entire student community.
In a statement released on August 7, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Delhi has deemed the Delhi High Court’s ruling on proceeding with the online Open Book Examinations (OBE) for the final year DU students as let – down for the student community.
The Delhi High Court on Friday gave its nod for the conduct of online Open Book Examinations (OBE) for the final year students. Along with the go ahead, certain directions were also passed that are to be followed by the University and the University Grants Commission (UGC). The court directed that the question papers shall be made accessible for students on the university website and be sent on their email IDs, one additional shall be granted for uploading answer sheets and an auto-generated email informing the students that their answer sheets have been received shall be sent. Also, Common Service Centres (CSC) Academy shall notify all its centres the schedule of the exams so that they can provide assistance to the students who do not have infrastructure to give OBE and students’ grievances must be addressed and resolved by DU’s grievance officers within 48 hours.
SFI, Delhi has considered this decision as a major blow to the students who have been anticipating a favourable response from the court. It has highlighted the fact that the high court has directed DU to address the students’ concerns; however, the major concern that the online mode of examination is exclusionary was overlooked. Coming just days before the exams, this ruling, as SFI claims, has aggravated the anxieties of the students.
In their statement, SFI has called out the shortcomings in the court’s directives. It has been stated that an additional hour for uploading examination will make the whole process more inequitable and disadvantage those with poor internet connection. The university’s decision to give an opportunity to the students who cannot attend online OBE to write the exam physically once the situation is back to normalcy has been termed discriminatory towards the students who are underprivileged and who do not have access to technological resources, undisrupted internet connection and those who cannot avail CSCs as they would have to deal with the uncertainty about their future, while the rest of their peers move ahead academically. The court’s direction to notify all CSCs was also concluded to be not feasible based on the fact that out of 3.6 lakh CSC academies, around 12,000 are non-functional, due to the pandemic. In addition, many remote areas do not have CSCs. SFI stated in their statement that the high court had earlier expressed its concerns over this matter, but later chose to brush it off.
“Outstation students had voiced their inaccessibility to study materials which has received no satisfactory response. Open book examination without books is only a farce and many of us students will have to bear the cost of irresponsible actions and adamance of our universities.”says Anil, a final year student from Ramjas college expressing his concern on the statement
The failure of the mock tests was also pointed out. From difficulties in logging in, glitches in uploading to receiving the wrong question papers, many students reported their grievances on social media platforms. The number of students who were able to successfully upload the answer sheets were abysmally low, claimed SFI.
“It is a reprehensible act which disregards the opposition from students. Online petitions, memorandums, and embodied protests marked where the students stood in the issue. They’ve utilized all means to make their resistance heard, through twitter storms and writing the VC of DU.”-Sumit Kataria, President of SFI, said in the statement
In the end, the statement says that the HC ruling has disappointed the student community by failing to take into account their just demands and interests. Education has been made exclusive for the elite class and the very character of a central university has been allowed to be altered. According to SFI, Delhi, it is extremely disheartening to witness the court ignore the protests from the student community for over two months.
Feature Image Credits: SFI