Published: 23rd July 2020
Irony much? DU lawyer's computer 'hangs' during online hearing to hold online exams!
The Delhi University counsel Sachin Dutta's laptop had hung on Wednesday. The court will hear the matter again on July 24
On July 22, a Delhi High Court bench was hearing three petitions against the University of Delhi's decision to conduct Open Book Examinations online for its final year students. This was a decision that was previously criticised by many student and teacher groups, stating that a large number of students have no access to proper technology or functioning gadgets to write these examinations.
The court hearing was held via Webex, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and at a particular point, the university's counsel Sachin Dutta asked the judge Pratibha Singh to pardon him for a second. The reason? Dutta's computer had hung. One may think of this as a very common occurrence during an online meeting in India. However, for the petitioners, this was a brief moment of victory. It was probably one of those moments of irony or bad karma.
Right then, Justice Singh reportedly said, "That's our point. Connections hang, electricity goes out in our country." Another student, who was present at the hearing tell us that the incident occurred when the court had asked the counsel if all the students of the university have access to a stable internet connection.
While the university also argued that a 4G connection is not a mandate to write DU's online examinations, the court read out a student's grievance which says that 2G connections can't be used for the exams. Akshay Lakra, a DU student, who was one of the petitioners tells us that at a point, the judge was heard saying, "I live in the capital city of India, but the moment it rains, my 4G connection disappears."
"This is a major concern for us. When the state universities in Delhi can cancel its examinations, why can't DU follow suit? It can easily resort to mass promotions," says Lakra, who is also the Delhi NSUI president. He added that the DUSU secretary Ashish Lamba, who is also part of the NSUI is supporting the move, but his efforts are being sidelined by the ABVP-dominated union. "DU has no means to cover up its mess," he adds. The court will hear the matter again on July 24.