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Delhi University proposes to conduct open book examinations online, a storm of dissent unleashes on Twitter. Students, activists, and organisations unite to trend #DUAgainstOnlineExams.

On 13th May, Wednesday, Professor Vinay Gupta, the Dean of Examinations, Delhi University (DU) released a proposal for conducting online examinations for final year students in the form of Open Book Examinations. The statement was made public the next day. This proposal explained the course of action to be undertaken involving printing and scanning of question papers and answer sheets, for which an extra hour would be provided to the students. However, this proposition is largely condemned by various student organisations for its “exclusive” nature.

Bodies like Students’ Federation of India (SFI), National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), and All India Students’ Association (AISA) among others have strongly condemned this move. They raised concerns on the lack of access to the internet for students from remote areas or general inability to use the same, unaffordability of smartphones or laptops were considered. Lack of study material and the implications of these on creating unfair disadvantages were also raised. These organisations suggest that this proposal for online examinations is, hence, highly discriminatory and fails to provide a fairground for evaluation.

All students, organizations, and allies were requested to join a call on Twitter to trend the hashtag #DUAgainstOnlineExams against the decision of the administration on 15th May, from 2 to 3 p.m. to highlight the issues of the students. Post 2 p.m., the aforementioned hashtag made it to the trending list on Twitter with several students and organisations speaking their minds and raising various concerns via tweets and memes.

 

Damni Kain, former Delhi University Student Union (DUSU) Presidential candidate and student activist posted a thread discussing the situation at large and voicing concerns of students. She addressed the unfair disadvantages of Kashmiri students in her tweet- “How will visually impaired students give online exams? What about students of Kashmir where internet connection is still at a 2G speed? Women students who are burdened with unequal domestic work, especially in the lockdown, are equally disadvantaged.”

In a statement released by the NSUI, the organisation requested the administration of the University to reconsider its decisions and come up with a more feasible alternative to tackle the situation at hand. It also suggested that in case online examinations are a must, the board should be lenient and test only the topics covered in class and not online.

The University recently released guidelines for open book examinations, details of which, can be found HERE.

Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Aditi Gutgutia
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