Published: 14th July 2020
Wrap it up fast: Delhi HC asks DU to start online OBE from August 10
Initially, the varsity had announced that the online OBE would commence from July 1, which was later postponed to July 10
The Delhi University on Tuesday agreed before the Delhi High Court to conduct the final year examinations through the Online Open Book Examination (OBE) mode from August 10.
The advancement of dates came after a division bench of the high court presided over by Justices Hima Kohli and Subromonium Prasad asked the varsity to expedite the examination process. "Wrap it up fast; the more you delay the exams, the lesser career options would be there for the students," the bench said.
It has also asked the varsity to file an affidavit mentioning the detailed timeline for the declaration of results and conducting physical examination for those who can't appear for open book examination. The court's request and direction came after the varsity in an affidavit filed on Monday had submitted that the open book examinations will be conducted from August 17 to September 8.
After agreeing to the request and directions of the court, the DU submitted that while the mock tests would now begin from July 27 (first phase) and August 1 (second phase), the final exams would be held from August 10 to August 30. According to the affidavit filed by the varsity, there was a two-week gap between the conclusion of the main exams and the additional phase, which would be a blended mode for those missing the main examinations.
Noticing the gap, the bench asked, "Why is there a gap of two weeks between conclusion of main exams and the additional phase?" Responding to the same, senior advocate Sachin Dutta, appearing for the varsity, said, "There are a lot of preparations to take place, and venues have to be prepared. Maximum students we can accommodate for physical exams are 15,000-20,000 in view of the social distancing guidelines."
Meanwhile, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner Prateek Sharma, raised concerns over the condition of the Common Service Centres (CSCs) that are proposed to be used by the students who do not have the resources to sit for online examination.
"There are around 12,000 CSCs that are not even working," Sibal said, adding that there was no infrastructure present in these centres. Following which, the bench directed the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (ME&IT) to file an affidavit by the next date of hearing in response to the said grievance.
In an affidavit filed before the court on Monday, the DU had stated that examinations would begin on August 17 and would conclude on September 8. In its last hearing, the high court had directed the Delhi University to draw up a plan for conducting examinations for final year students.