HC unhappy as DU, Centre fail to spell out exam preparedness

Volunteers assist visually challenged students in filling up application forms for DU admissions.   | Photo Credit: Monica Tiwari

The High Court on Tuesday expressed displeasure at the Delhi University and the Centre for failing to come up with the number of visually impaired students, who have made a request for scribes to enable their participation in the final year undergraduate open book examinations (OBE).

A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad sought to know the status of the Common Service Exam (CSE) centres, the arrangement made for scribes at the CSE Centres for students in the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) category and their overall preparedness for smoothly conducting the online examinations.

DU has engaged the CSC academy under the aegis of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to facilitate the students with either limited or no network and hardware facility to appear for the OBE without payment of fee.

The students from across the country, who wish to avail the CSC’s infrastructure, have to locate the nearest CSC through their site.

The court noted that DU had not submitted any affidavit regarding its preparedness, despite a clear direction on the last hearing.

“It is also imperative for this court to know as to whether visually impaired students, who have asked for scribes, will get an opportunity to interact with the scribes assigned to them at least two days before the examinations in terms of the guidelines issued by the university,” the court said.

The Bench said it would also like to be informed that out of 2,75,000 students, who have submitted applications to participate in the online OBE, how many have opted for a CSE centre for downloading the question paper and uploading the answer sheets.

“Out of those students who have sought the facility of a CSE centre, how many students are situated at remote places and whether the CSE centres at the said locations are fully equipped,” the court asked.

Details sought

It said the affidavit filed by DU on the next date of hearing on July 30 must also furnish the details of the number of students who have participated in the mock test, number of students who were unable to upload their answer sheets within the prescribed time and the number of complaints received from students regarding technical glitches during the mock test.

The court also asked for details of the PWD category students with a sub-category of visually impaired students who had applied for participating in the online OBE and those who had participated in the mock test.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for some of the students, stated that several of the PWD category students are residing at remote places where no CSE centres are available.

Mr. Sibal said the presence of the CSE Academy is considered necessary, for the court to understand as to how many CSE centres across India are situated in metropolitan cities and how many are situated in remote areas so that accessibility is not an issue for any of the students, irrespective of their place of stay.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 7:09:37 PM |

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