DU exam: Lockdown, long distance from home deterring many students from utilising Common Service Centres

·3-min read

New Delhi, Jul 27 (PTI) Many Delhi University students have expressed their inability to utilise Common Service Centres for taking online open book examinations, citing the coronavirus-induced lockdown and that these facilities were far away from their homes.

Some students also alleged that many of the Common Service Centres, enlisted by the university, were not even aware of the exam notification.

A section of the Delhi University fraternity has objected to the online open book examinations (OBE) for final-year courses, scheduled to begin on August 10.

A plea has also been filed in the Delhi High Court challenging the university's decision to hold OBE. The matter is being heard by the court.

The Delhi High Court had last week sought to know the preparedness of common service centres, which have been set up to help students who do not have infrastructure of their own to give the exams.

The CSE Academy, engaged by the Ministry of Electronics and Technology, has an agreement with the Delhi University for conducting the exams.

'CSC has necessary infrastructure and resources to support students who want to appear for exams,' its e-Governance Services CEO Dinesh Tyagi said.

However, students claimed when they contacted the centres that have been named on the DU website, most of them said they were not aware about the university notification on the matter.

Deepak Gupta, a postgraduate student, said he reached out to the CSC that was listed on the varsity's website only to learn that it was unaware about the exam process.

'I am a visually impaired student from Rohtas in Bihar and do not have access to Internet. So I contacted the CSC on Sunday with my query but they said they do not know about the notification. Many of my visually impaired student friends from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh also faced similar issues when they contacted CSCs,' Gupta said.

'The varsity has also said that for visually impaired students, CSCs will have to provide scribes, but when we asked them about the scribe facility, they said they might still get the exam conducted but arranging scribes won't be possible,” he said.

He claimed that some CSCs said they were aware about DU exams but did not know the process.

Gupta also rued about the fact that he would not even be able to take mock exams.

Bushra, a student of BA (English) Hons of Zakir Husain College, said the nearest CSC was quite far off and her district in Jammu and Kashmir was in a state of lockdown.

'I am from Rajouri district...and we have 2G network here. It won't be possible for me to download the question paper and upload (my answer sheets). My district is in a complete lockdown.... I went to the CSC also but they said how is it even possible to take exams in this situation,” she said.

Samiya Aziz, another student of Zakir Husain College, said her nearest CSC was 16 kilometres away and during the pandemic it was not feasible for her to travel every time.

'I have decided that I will stay at a friend's place during exams and both of us will take the exams using her computer,' she said.

Three Delhi University students -- Ria Chopra, Nikkhil Kalia and Parush Khurana -- claimed that they had called up 15 CSCs that were listed in the university website and found that district managers of only three of them were aware about the exam notification.

'We did this exercise three weeks ago. First of all, it does not give you phone numbers of CSEs, so a student has to physically go to the CSE, which is not feasible right now. We got a list of district managers online and when we called them, many of them were not aware that DU had initiated this,” said Chopra.

They also said that the exams are supposed to start from 7.30 am but CSEs only open at 9.30 am.

Mock tests for OBE began on Monday with many students complaining about technical glitches. PTI SLB PRS SMN SMN

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