Delhi University told High Court that students have an alternative physical model of exams if the students fail to upload answer sheets.
The varsity informed state court, on Monday, that OBE will be executed on its scheduled day. The OBE for all the undergraduate students is going to art from 10th July. Due to several questions raised on OBE, the authority stated that students with disabilities or others, if not able to give exams now, they can appear in Sept as well.
Also, the varsity said that it would be regardless of whether students have filled application online or not.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, which was supervising the hearing through video conferencing, asked the university to file an affidavit elucidating its stand and listed for July 9, a legal challenge against DU OBE.
For purposes of transparency and to avoid any ambiguity, it is considered appropriate to direct the Delhi University to file an affidavit clarifying its stand as recorded above and on any other aspect stated before us so that appropriate orders can be ratified on the next date, the bench said.
The court was hearing a plea by Prateek Sharma and Diksha Singh seeking recommendations to the Centre for setting up an effective means for visually impaired and other disabled persons so that educational instructions can be transmitted to them properly and teaching material is delivered to them through online mode of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plea said that universities, schools, colleges, and other educational institutions have engaged in online teaching amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but no efforts have been made by the government to consider the special requirements of blind and other specially-abled students.
The OBE exams which were earlier scheduled to be started from 1st of July have postponed and will commence from 10th July.
During the hearing, senior advocate Sachin Dutta, appearing for Delhi University, said that as a run-up to the main examinations, the mock exams have commenced on July 4 and will conclude on July 8. Thereafter, the online exams will initiate from July 10.
He, however, accepted that if for any reason, the students are not in a position to sit for the OBE examination commencing on July 10, all the students, whether in the PWD section or otherwise will be afforded an alternative to sit in the examinations physically in September this year subject to pandemic situations normalizing.
The high court asked certain questions to the DU as to the update of those students who are in the final year of the under-graduate courses and want to take admission in the post-graduate courses in the circumstance they are not in the situation to take the exams through the OBE system conducted remotely and instead elect to await the physical examinations designated to be conducted in September 2020
To this the varsity’s solicitor said such students will be provisionally permitted admission in the post-graduate courses offered by DU subject to the requirement that they meet the eligibility norms after the outcomes of the undergraduate course are declared and subject to their appearing for the entrance examination.
The high court had earlier pulled up the varsity for not notifying it on June 26, when the matter was heeded, about the decision to defer the examinations.
The bench had said it came to know about the same on June 27 from news reports while it was in the middle of sanctioning an order to dispose of the petition on the basis of the DU’s statement that it was geared up to initiate exams from July.
It had said that once DU had told it that it was fully geared up for carrying the exams from July 1, any change in schedule ought to have been conveyed to the bench.
The DU, in its defense, had said the decision was brought after it came to know on June 26 at around 2.20 pm that the mother of its Deputy Registrar (secrecy) tested positive for COVID-19 and the whole family had to be quarantined.