Online Open Book Exams will be held after August 15, DU tells court

Judge expresses displeasure at change in stance by varsity

July 08, 2020 03:54 pm | Updated 04:20 pm IST - New Delhi

NEW DELHI: 05/07/2008: Faculty of Arts Delhi University in New Delhi, on 05 July, 2008. Photo: V.V.Krishnan

NEW DELHI: 05/07/2008: Faculty of Arts Delhi University in New Delhi, on 05 July, 2008. Photo: V.V.Krishnan

Delhi University on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that the Open Book Examinations (OBE) for final-year undergraduate courses scheduled to begin on July 10 will be deferred to a date in the second half of August this year.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh expressed displeasure at the change in stance by Delhi University on holding the online examination.

“The sudden change of mind to postpone the exams after August 15 without a certain date, as per the decision taken by the high-powered committee on July 7, has been placed before the court today,” the High Court order said.

Since the issue concerning the OBE is already pending before another Bench of the High Court, Justice Singh placed the bunch of petitions filed on the issue before the Bench of the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court for hearing on Thursday.

The High Court was also informed by the Centre’s counsel that fresh SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and office memorandum had been issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

As per the SOP, which has been forwarded to the University Grants Commission (UGC), universities across the country have been granted time to conduct the examination by September 30.

The universities have the option of conducting the examination either online or offline depending on the nature of preparedness of the students, residential status of the students and other factors.

During the hearing, the Delhi University’s counsel told the High Court that the decision to postpone the OBE was taken by a high-powered committee on July 7 evening.

One of the petitioners alleged that the academic council of Delhi University had not been consulted in any of the decision-making processes.

A submission made against the postponement of OBE by one of the final-year students was that it will lead to inability to avail of employment in public sector undertakings as the deadline for submission of mark sheets was July 31.

The petitioners also raised the issue of inability to pursue postgraduate studies in foreign universities, including the U.S. and the U.K., as transcripts had to be submitted by end of July or early August.

The petitioners also raised the issue of several students being unable to access the portal of the OBE and the crashing of the portal during mock test. The High Court was also informed that several students were themselves suffering from COVID-19 and unable to give the exams.

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