Admission Season

ECA Trials Be Held With Precautions: DU Executive Council

The DU Executive Council demanded that the ECA trials be held physically, taking necessary precautions to prevent Coronavirus Spread. It also raised issues regarding irregularities in OBE and plight of ad hoc teachers.

On Monday, 21st September 2020, Delhi University (DU) Executive Council (EC) members demanded that the trials for extra-curricular activities (ECA) should be held with all precautions, to prevent spread of coronavirus. This issue was raised at the Emergency EC meeting held on Monday.

DU had earlier decided that it would not be continuing with ECA trials owing to the pandemic situation. It had stated that admissions would be given on the basis of National Service Scheme (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC) certificates. This barred candidates who didn’t have certificates.

However, on 20th July 2020, the Standing Committee revoked its earlier decision. It was decided that admissions under 12 categories, including music, dance, divinity, yoga, would be held this year on the basis of certificates, not trials.

“In order to avoid crowding and ensure physical distancing, colleges should be allowed to conduct the ECA selection process and admissions as the admissions are statutorily within the jurisdiction of the college staff councils”

Mr Rajesh Jha, EC Member, as reported by The Hindustan Times

However, Mr Rajesh Jha, the EC member, said that they had received many letters from gurus, artistes and experts. They had suggested that the trials for ECA quota admissions could be held with the precautions required for COVID-19. Reportedly, Mr Jha also stated that mere dependence on certificates could not be a sound basis of objective evaluation of the performance-based artistic skills. He added that there should be trials for those disciplines.

Reportedly, besides the issue of ECA trials, the issue of online open book exams (OBE) being conducted by “bypassing the statutory bodies – Academic Council and Executive Council” – was also raised in the meeting. Reportedly, Mr Rajesh Jha stated that the anonymity of answer sheets was not being maintained under OBE. He added that earlier the university protected the anonymity of students by not revealing their name and college on answer sheets.

“There is a very serious deviation that the anonymity of the answer scripts has not been maintained. The university has in the past upheld the ethical aspect of protecting the identity of the student (name and college) on the answer scripts”

Mr Rajesh Jha, EC Member, as reported by The Hindustan Times

Mr Jha stated that under OBE, the name of the student was flashed on the screen when the examiner opened the portal. He added that that was a “serious compromise with confidentiality and goes against the principles of fairness and justice”. He also said that the “examination was exclusionary in nature”. On providing data regarding OBE, he stated that among regular students, around 4% students did not appear in the first phase of OBE. This increased to 13% in case of School of Open Learning (SOL) and 23.5-24% in case of persons with disabilities (PwD) students.

“In violation of its own ordinance, DU has thousands of ad hoc and temporary teachers, who have been toiling hard for years without any increment, leaves and any opportunity for profession upgradation.”

Mr Rajesh Jha, EC Member, as reported by The Hindustan Times

Besides that, Mr Ramesh Jha stated that many teachers were reporting that they were assigned scripts that were not of their subjects.

Reportedly, the EC members also demanded that DU should bring an ordinance to absorb temporary and ad hoc teachers. It was also raised that the statutory maternity leave was not available to the female ad hoc teachers.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Navneet Kaur