University of Delhi: Three students of the University of Delhi have filed a petition in the High Court of Delhi “against the notification, dated May 14, 2020, issued by the respondent (University of Delhi) to conduct the remote Open Book Examination (OBE) for the Final Year students of Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) Programs including students of School of Open Learning (SOL) and Non-Collegiate Women Education Board (NCWEB).”
The petitioners are the final year students of Political Science Honors, Kirori Mal College, Hindi Honors, Aryabhata College and BA Programme, SOL respectively. The advocate for the petitioners has listed them as the residents of a slum area, Chuna Bhati, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi, belonging “to poor strata of the society.” The matter has been listed as “urgent because the University has instructed the Head of the Departments to submit the question papers latest by June 01, 2020” and the examinations will, thereby, commence from July 01, 2020.
The petition accuses the University of violating the Right to Equality of the petitioners and the students, at large, because of the difference in technological infrastructure, connectivity and the atmosphere including background noises, sitting space, dedicated room, etc which will “adversely affect the interest of students” of rural and poor urban areas. The petition mentions a lack of approval of OBE “through any rules, regulations or decision of the Academic Council (Section 23 of the Delhi University Act).” The inexperience of the administration, teachers and the students for OBE compromises “the sanctity of the examinations” along with the fact that the online classes recorded minimum attendance.
The petition also mentions that the notification has no direction that curbs cheating means like the device camera to be kept on, no use of Search Engines or a mechanism to surveil the examinees by the University. The mid-semester break followed by a sudden lockdown left the out-stationed students without their study materials and resources, as mentioned in the petition.
The petitioners have also illustrated the Central University of Haryana’s decision to not conduct an OBE as the Vice-Chancellor, RC Kuhad said: “it is not fully equipped or trained for the task.” Over 170 teachers of the University have also written to the Vice-Chancellor to withhold the decision so as not to compromise with the sanctity of the examinations.