Delhi University
Delhi University
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Delhi University agrees to hold Open Book Exam between August 10-31 after Delhi HC asks it to advance exam schedule

An additional opportunity is also being given to final year students to register for the examination by July 25.

Aditi Singh

Before the Delhi High Court today, Delhi University agreed to start the online Open Book Examination for final year students from August 10 and finish it by August 31.

Delhi University (DU) said that an additional opportunity is also being given to final year students to register for the examination by July 25.

The statement was made by the University's Dean of Examination, Prof Vinay Gupta, before a Division Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad.

Senior Advocate Sachin Dutta with Advocate M Rupal appeared for DU.

The Court was hearing a batch of petitions concerning the conduct of the final year examination at Delhi University amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

During today's hearing, Prof Gupta said that the mock examination for students will be conducted in two phases starting July 27 and August 1.

In the first phase, the students can familiarise themselves with the uploading and downloading of documents, and the second phase will offer a real-time test, he said.

The timeline was agreed upon after the Court asked Delhi Univeristy to advance the examination schedule proposed by it in an affidavit.

As per the proposal, the examination was to begin from August 17 and would go on till September 8. The proposed date of declaration of result was November 30.

The affidavit also said that around September 22, a second round of physical examinations would be conducted for those students who are unable to sit in the first round.

Given the impact that the delay will have on the prospect of higher education and the careers of students, the Court asked Prof Vinay to shorten the timeline.

After taking a re-look at the dates and considering the practicalities, Prof Gupta agreed to advance the dates of the mock examination and the final examination.

As far as the issues of conduct of the second round of examinations for students who missed out and date of declaration of results are concerned, the Court allowed DU to file an affidavit.

The Court today also clarified that it was only examining the aspect of delay in conduction of exams and not the mode of evaluation - the online Open Book Examination (OBE).

Thus, the petition challenging the OBE was sent back to the Single Judge Bench.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner Prateek Sharma, also raised concerns over the condition of the Common Service Centres (CSEs) that are proposed to be used by students who do not have the resources to sit for the online examination. He said,

"There are 12,000 CSEs that are not even working. There are no scribes, WiFi or infrastructure."

Since counsel for the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, Advocate Ripudaman Singh, did not have any instructions on that aspect, the Court directed the HRD Ministry, as well as the IT Ministry, to file an affidavit before the next date of hearing.

The matter will be heard next on July 22.

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