The Delhi High Court Friday cleared the way for Delhi University to conduct online Open-Book examination (OBE) for final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students, and passed a slew of directions to streamline the process. Exams will take place from August 10-31.
Justice Pratibha Singh, who passed the judgment on a plea challenging the varsity’s decision to hold online OBE as per UGC guidelines, observed: “It is a matter of record that hundreds of students have faced technical glitches while using the online portal of DU… In the present case, hearings over the last one month demonstrated several lacunae in the online OBE process. However, repeatedly, DU has taken the stand that it is fully prepared to conduct the examinations.”
The court directed that regular students “… will be given complete three hours for answering question paper and one more hour for scanning answer sheets and uploading the same. Thus, regular students would have a total of four hours to complete the exam, scan and upload/email the answer sheets”.
It also directed that PWD category students also be given “one additional hour for downloading question paper, completing answers and uploading answer sheets i.e., six hours”.
It directed that question papers be made accessible for students on the university website and via email. DU was directed to send an auto-generated email informing students that answer sheets have been received.
The court also directed the constitution of a grievance redressal committee, which will have retired judge of the Delhi HC, Justice Prathiba Rani, as its chairperson, to ensure transparent and fair redressal of grievances raised by students with respect to downloading question papers, uploading answer sheets, technical glitches, delays in uploading and other issues.
“Decision with respect to grievances shall be taken by the committee within five days from receipt of email; the student shall be duly notified of said decision. Grievance redressal shall continue during the entire period of exams and not be postponed till the end… At the end of the OBE, a comprehensive report of conduct of exams shall be submitted by DU in four weeks,” the court said.
Furthermore, Common Service Centres (CSC) Academy, which will provide services to students who do not have infrastructure to give OBE, shall notify the exam schedule to all its centres by the end of the day so they can provide assistance to students to the best extent possible, it said.