The Delhi University on Saturday postponed the online open book exams (OBE) for final-year students, which were scheduled to begin from July 1, by 10 days "in view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic".
The revised datesheets for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes will be notified on July 3 and the exams will start on July 10, the university said.
The mock test to help students appearing for exams for awareness about the procedures of OBE mode, to be conducted remotely, will start from July 4. A separate notification will be issued by the exam branch regarding all details of the mock test.
The mode of exams was adopted as an alternative in view of the pandemic. It was a one-time measure for the academic session 2019-20 for all streams of UG and PG, including SOL and NCWEB.
The notification issued by the Dean of Examination office was titled: “Postponement of final semester/term/year examinations including Examinations of SOL and NCWEB in Open Book Examination (OBE) mode to be conducted remotely as per notified date sheet for all UG and PG programmes for the academic year 2019-20.”
In the changed schedule, the basic guidelines as issued by the exam branch on May 14 related with the OBE mode will be applicable.
The dean’s office has specified that all other activities notified by the exam branch related with the OBE mode will remain unchanged and no further notification will be issued either as corrigendum or amendment.
“Letters related with OBE mode of examinations to be conducted remotely as issued to all the Dean of Faculties, Head of the Departments and Principals of colleges shall remain unchanged. No separate guidelines/notifications shall be issued by the examination branch related with OBE mode of examinations,” said the notification.
The facilities of ICT infrastructure available at Common Service Centre (CSC) as engaged by the university will continue as per the new date sheet notified by examination branch. The facilities extended through various notifications to students in the PWD category in general and Visually Impaired students will continue to be applicable for the rescheduled examinations in OBE mode as a one-time measure adopted by university for the academic session 2019-20.
The notification was met with criticism from academics in Delhi University and Academics for Action and Development.
“The notification for postponing online OBE is another instance of rudderless, ad-hoc and autocratic policy decisions over the examination in which the students have reduced to be a guinea pig,” they said in a statement.
Signed by academics Rajesh Jha, Richa Raj, SBN Tiwary and Ashok, it said, “This will only add to chaos and confusion on the examination front. What is the rationale for merely postponing? How will the situation change in the next ten days? This decision to postpone is as arbitrary as that of conducting online OBE."
From May, DUTA members have been raising objections on the basis of procedural violations, academic rationale and logistical roadblocks.
Delhi is the worst-hit city by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. As of Friday, the contagious respiratory disease had infected 77,240 people and claimed 2,492 lives in the national capital.