Differently-abled DU Students amidst difficulty come to Delhi to give exams

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The Differently-abled students return to Delhi from distant corners of the country to appear for the second phase of Delhi University’s open-book exams physically. The exams start on September 14. The first phase of online open-book exams for final year postgraduate and undergraduate students was conducted between August 10 and August 31.

The differently-abled students could not give the first round examinations in online mode due to unavailability of resources and sheer nonchalance from the authorities to their intractable issues.

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DS Rawat, DU’s officiating dean stated 12,000 students have registered for the second round examinations. 10,000 students are from the School of Open Learning (SoL) and around 2,000 are those who are enrolled in colleges and Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board (NCWEB). “Only around 3,000 of these students have opted for physical exams, the rest of them will write the exam online,” he said

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The differently-abled students had difficulty availing transportation, scribes or people who could write for them amidst a virulent pandemic. The second round physical examinations are proceeding only in the Delhi University centre. The inadvertent planning does not provide a solution to all the students who live in distant regions, who do not have succinct resources, health security or economic advantage. The problematic dimensions of the first phase of OBE examinations still lie in the second phase. Some can take the risk to appear at the designated centres, some can manage to attain resources while some couldn’t afford graduation degree because of their treacherous circumstances and indifference from the authorities.

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The High Court even previously questioned Delhi University’s preparedness in taking differently-abled students examinations. These students have been helpless in this tumultuous situation. Dr Bijaylaxmi Nanda, principal of Miranda house said, “Even out of five visually impaired students we have, only two will appear in offline exams.”

The University assured all the precautions will be taken strictly during the conduction of the second phase of OBE at the centre.

The plight of differently-abled students

“I have arranged for a couple of writers who will write the exam for me. I wouldn’t take the exam at the centre but somewhere else. The varsity has not helped us in arranging scribes or even study material,” said Nitin Kumar Tyagi. The student who came from Uttar Pradesh said it was very difficult to find scribes in his hometown and many writers from Delhi were unwilling to travel to centres to give examination due to rising Coronavirus cases.

Deepak Gupta, a visually challenged final year MA (English) student, has travelled from Bihar’s Rohtak district to appear in exams. But he has still chosen the online mode. “It’s not that we like online mode for appearing in exams. We have opted for it because of the prevailing situation. I did not have scribes, proper internet facility and assistive devices in my village and that’s why I have travelled to Delhi,”

He further added, “I have opted for the online mode since the varsity has not arranged scribes for us. The National Association for Blind will be helping us in writing the exams. The college hostels are closed and the NGO has made arrangements for our stay.”

Kanta another visually impaired student said, “I will be taking the exam online since it is not feasible for me to go to the exam centre. I have managed to arrange a scribe. At the centre, it wouldn’t be possible to maintain social distancing but in case of online mode, we can sit in one room with our scribe and take the exam,” she said. She had to pay Rs 5000 to reach Delhi from Uttarkhand in a private vehicle.

Delhi University resolving issues of students aspiring to go abroad: Delhi High Court

Inputs: Outlook India

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