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Delhi University Reopening: Mode of Examination

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A few days ago, some students heaved a sigh of relief when Delhi University announced the opening up of its campus for final year UG and PG students for practical work from 15th September. The university is keeping its guard up against the predicted third wave by allowing a phased reopening of the colleges. However, this step has instilled confusion in the minds of students regarding the mode of odd semester exams. 

According to the University’s annual calendar, final year UG students will have their 5th-semester exams from November 30th. The exams for final year PG students, according to the calendar, shall begin from December 15. The teachers are also awaiting an announcement about the mode of exams. 

What did the Senior Officials of Delhi University Say on the Issue?

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Dean (Examination) D.S. Rawat said that the option of online exams (OBE), as well as that of physical exams, is open. He further added that it was quite premature to give a clear comment on the examinations.  “As part of the phased reopening, we have only allowed students to return for practical classes and not theory lessons for now. The decision between the two modes of the exam (OBE or in-person exams) will be taken later based on the situation of the pandemic and other factors like how classes will be conducted,” he said in a statement. 

Vikas Gupta, the DU registrar, also added that the current DDMA guidelines only allow 50% seating capacity in every classroom which will make it infeasible to conduct physical examinations. “If the DDMA guidelines are relaxed by then, we can think of holding in-person exams. Else, we are most likely to continue with online OBE,” he added. 

What do Teachers and Students Feel About the Online Mode of Examination?

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Meanwhile, many teachers have raised concerns for the final year UG students who have been given physical exams only once. Abha Dev, a Physics professor at Miranda House said, “The final-year UG students are a peculiar batch because they had one physical exam in the first semester before the pandemic, followed by promotion on the basis of previous exams in their second semester. While they appeared for online OBE in the third semester, these students were again promoted on the basis of internals in the fourth semester due to the second wave. This means that theirs will be a diluted degree as their exams were not proctored. Teachers will have to focus on preparing these students for their in-person exams moving forward.”

The students, however, seem to be divided on this issue. While some students wish to give offline exams to strengthen their learning, others believe that holding offline exams is unfair when they have attended most of the classes online. A clear notice from Delhi University regarding examinations should clear the air and give some relief to the students. 

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