New Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI) Online examinations, promotions to teachers, initiation of research grants, confidential results and digital degrees were some of the steps taken by the Delhi University (DU) in the last one year, during which it battled the coronavirus pandemic and also lost many of its staffers to it.
The pandemic and the consequential lockdown had almost brought the city and the university to a standstill during mid-semester, it said on Monday.
Traditional classrooms, where teaching and learning transacted, have been completely replaced by online platforms, overcoming the barriers of space, the DU said.
'Various online platforms were made accessible to students and teachers by the university. Students were provided reading materials through online platforms. Several e-resources were provided to students through the university library, including access to e-texts and e-journals,' it added.
Owing to the situation necessitated by the pandemic, the university conducted internal assessments and examinations online for the first time.
According to data shared by the DU, 2.9 lakh students wrote the first Open Book Exam (OBE) held in August 2020 and 1.7 lakh in December 2020.
'The new examination system threw challenges now and then during its implementation, but the university learnt on the way to tackle each of them and improve the system in the process. Students were able to write their examinations within the comforts of their home/space and teachers were able to evaluate through electronic means,' the report said.
According to the report, the attendance of students in the June, 2021 OBE was over 95 per cent on an average, which was about five per cent higher in comparison to last year's OBEs.
The final-year students, who graduated after taking the online examination, were issued digital provisional certificates in order to enable them to apply for admissions in higher education, including in foreign universities.
Students were also issued digital degrees for the first time, so that they are not put to any disadvantage in pursuing higher studies or employment, the DU said.
The university issued over 21,000 digital degrees and 3,900 digital provisional certificates. Over 1.78 lakh digital degrees were issued during the 97th annual convocation.
The DU is providing online transcripts, migration certificates, provisional marksheets and digital degrees. It has also introduced a 'Digilocker' database for students so that that they can access all academic records and documents that are stored in it.
Confidential results will be provided to students who would need it for higher education or employment even before the official announcement of the results, the university said.
In the 2020-21 academic session, the Central Placement Cell collaborated with Internshala, under which more than 6,000 work-from-home internship opportunities and 4,000 internship opportunities under the 'Chalo India' programme were extended to the university students.
The internships carried stipends ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 30,000 per month. As many as 7,500 students were the beneficiaries of these opportunities, the DU said.
The promotions of many teachers were long overdue. In the last one year, around 542 such promotions were completed.
The university revived the initiative of providing research grants to teachers, which was not done after 2015-16.
According to the DU, 165 research grants were provided, amounting to approximately Rs 5 crore, under the Institute of Eminence (IoE) Scheme to encourage research. Seven patent applications were filed in the last one year and four were granted.
Seed grants were provided to the newly-recruited faculties to help them initiate research before they secure extramural research grants, the report said.
The faculty members and the departments were facilitated with an online plagiarism detection tool, which is extensively being used with 649 users currently and the numbers are increasing.
During the last year, 55,386 research papers or books were checked for plagiarism, the report said. PTI SLB RC