New Delhi: On Saturday, a list of measures to be taken by various colleges for conducting online examinations for final year students was released by the Delhi University. The measures include such provisions as holding mock tests for the students, e-mail, and other notifications to students about the exam, and filling the pro forma by the students which states that no unfair means are being adopted by them.
The University also said that if any students miss out on taking the online open-book examination (OBE), an opportunity will be provided to them to appear for pen and paper examination once the situation normalizes.
The University said that those students who reside in Jammu and Kashmir and other such areas which lack internet and hardware facility to appear for the OBE, the University has engaged some Common Service Centers (CSC) under the supervision of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The Varsity said that the students can use the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure resources available with the CSC academy to download and take a printout of the question paper and to scan and upload answer sheets on the portal.
These facilities will be available at the CSCs for free of cost. More than two lakh functional CSCs are located at almost all the gram panchayats on the village level all over India. All of these will be available for the students.
This decision taken by the university has been opposed by teachers and students’ bodies alike. All the groups have listed the problems of internet connectivity and the possibility of dishonest practices by the students.
After this incident, the University issued directives to colleges about the measures to be adopted to conduct the exams.
The University said that due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, it is not possible for the University to be able to conduct the examinations in a conventional mode as per the current government norms of maintaining social distancing and the safety and health of students.
Open-book examinations have been adopted as a one-time measure. It was decided after much deliberation. This system of exams has been adopted for the final semester students of the 2019-2020 academic session.
The University has also stated that an open book examination does not need an entire online platform, but only limited access to the internet for the downloading of the question papers and the uploading of answer sheets after the test is completed.
The University also mentioned that each student shall be made to sign an undertaking by clicking a button on the portal along with the scanned images of the answer scripts. This will be done to check the usage of any unfair means during the examinations.
The College must be in contact with its students. Messaging apps like WhatsApp might be adopted along with official e-mail and SMS services to send important information to the students.
If the students need to use ICT infrastructure during the examinations, the colleges may invite online requests from the students. The students can be advised to avail of the internet facilities at the Common Service Center (CSC) near their residence if the requests are high in number.
The question papers will be emailed to the college by the examination branch on each day of the exam, 45 minutes before the commencement of the examination. Students will be required to answer the questions on plain A4 size papers.
The exam will be of three hours. Two hours of these will be used by the students to answer the questions asked and the remaining one hour will be used for downloading the question paper and uploading it on the portal.
The University has also made clear that there will be mock tests available for the students on the university portal, a week before the commencement of the exam. This is done so that the students will get accustomed to the new mode of exams.