The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi University to clarify whether there would be a change in the schedule of the online Open Book Examinations which are slated to commence from July 10.
While passing the said directions, a single judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Pratibha M. Singh remarked: "Can you imagine the mental trauma of a student, how can you expect them to prepare like this?"
The remarks came after the officials of the Delhi University sought more to time to respond to the query of the court regarding any change in the date sheet and schedule of the examinations.
During the course of the hearing, through its counsel Sachin Dutta and Dean Examinations Vinay Gupta, Delhi University told the bench that since the situation is extraordinary, a tentative schedule can only be given.
"Evaluation of papers would begin from August first week and would continue till mid-September and the declaration of results would be done within the said month," the Delhi University told the court adding that the degree would be immediately available at the time of declaration of results and it would be uploaded online so that students can download it, except in some PG courses where the process is done manually.
In order to show its preparations for the examinations, the varsity informed the court that during the mock tests conducted by it, 4.86 lakh papers have been downloaded and attempted which shows that the students are able to attempt the paper. It was further submitted by the DU that 4.68 lakh files have been uploaded.
The DU further informed the court that there are around 2.45 lakh students who are studying in the final year of the varsity, out of which 1.86 lakh belongs to Delhi and 59,000 students are from outside the national capital.
"So far, 1.58 lakh students have registered for the online examination," the varsity's dean of Examination submitted before the court.
Professor Gupta stated that date sheets have already been uploaded on the website and in the online exams, in case the varsity's portal is not accessible, question papers will be emailed to the students.
If any student is unable to upload the answer sheets due to technical snag, they can also email it to the university and the window will be open for 30 minutes after the exams time is over. Moreover, after the said time limit concludes, a committee will examine the technical glitch and decide whether to accept the answer sheets or not, the DU told the bench.
The court was hearing a petition filed by one Anupam and several students of the final year of the Delhi University seeking cancellation of the examinations in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plea sought quashing and withdrawal of the notifications of May 14, May 30, June 27 in respect of undergraduate and postgraduate students, including students of the School of Open Learning and Non-Collegiate Women Education Board.
"... the UGC and the Central Government, ought to also bear in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous mental distress and agony to students. There are families which are suffering medical illnesses and giving of examinations is not just a technological issue but the state of mental preparedness of the students also needs to be assessed," said the court on Monday.
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