Delhi University’s decision to conduct ‘open-book’ online exam draws criticism

Written by Aranya Shankar
| New Delhi |

Published: May 16, 2020 6:18:00 pm

Delhi University UG, PG exams to be conducted from This summer 1. Representational image/ 

The online open book examination mode being considered by Delhi University (DU) for its final year learners had come into more criticism along with several Heads of Department (HoDs) Saturday speaking out against the choice in a meeting. Some teachers possess even approached the President associated with India regarding the move.

The Academics for Action & Development (AAD), a teachers’ body, claimed that will around 20 HoDs had emerge against the “arbitrary and autocratic decision” of the university within their virtual meeting held Saturday.

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“AAD expresses its total solidarity with around 20 Head of Departments (HoD) who came together today against the arbitrary and autocratic decision of the university administration to impose OBE (open book examination) through online mode as disastrous for the students of the university. AAD also supported Deans, who in an online meeting, expressed their opinion against the online examination. AAD also stands with Dean, Faculty of Technology, who wrote to DU VC against the online examination,” they said.

An HoD, who did not desire to be named, said, “There was a discussion on the mode of examination suggested by the university administration in which several spoke against the open book exam mode. There was also a discussion on whether exams should be online or offline but there was no consensus. It was only at the discussion.”

Four teachers of the university from appropriated backgrounds also wrote to Leader Ramnath Kovind Saturday saying your decision would especially push those through reserved categories, poor backgrounds, plus persons with disabilities “on the wrong side of the digital divide”.

“We have 60 per cent of students in the university coming from SC, ST, OBC, EWS, PwD and remote areas like North East and J&K, who are mostly lacking requisite hardware and software. Open book test is always beneficial for those students, who have facilities in their home. But most students of Delhi University depend completely on the library for books,” wrote Assistant Professors Kaushal Panwar, Premchand, Anil Kumar plus Deepankar.

“So, the proper digital resources are far away from them because their economic background does not allow this. This type of examination will promote a type of discrimination among the students at different levels. Only students who are full of resources can benefit more in this exam,” they additional.

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The educators also said “there has been no sanction for such a move by AC (Academic Council) and EC (Executive Council) of the university.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson and DU teacher Manoj Jha also tweeted against the decision Sunday. “As a teacher at #DSSW stand in solidarity with the grievance of larger student fraternity wrt online examination. Please do a sensitive due diligence 4 d students. How many of them have laptops/smartphone? How many of them enjoy uninterrupted internet?” he tweeted.

DU Registrar and Dean Examinations failed to respond to calls and texts.

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