The Delhi High Court today gave a nod for holding the open book examination for the final year students of Delhi University. This online open book examination is to commence from Monday i.e. August 10. It has been directed to the UGC and Delhi University to abide by the directions passed in the order. The directions which were given to Delhi University include the following:
The question paper which gets drafted and finalized will be sent to students’ e-mail and to be uploaded on the portal as well.
- An extra hour will be given to the students to upload the answer sheets.
- A confirmation e-mail which will be auto-generated for the receipt of the answer sheets will be sent to the students.
- The various details regarding the Nodal officer and central e-mail ID has to be published.
- The Common Service Centre to notify all its centers by the end of the day.
- The issues raised by the students will be handled by a Grievance Officer. In case he or she is unable to attend, then a formal complaint shall be forwarded to the Grievance Committee.
- The Grievance Committee shall be reconstituted under the aegis of Justice (retd) Pratibha Rani.
- All the complaints shall be addressed within 5 days and the Grievance Committee will hold and function till OBE continues.
- The results shall be announced within a short period after the examination.
After the completion of the proceeding of the present case, the issues and challenges regarding the data storage and privacy will be dealt with.
As the UGC guidelines made it compulsory for the educational institutions to conduct the time-bound examinations for the final year students, the Petitioners argued that the OBE was clearly in the violation of rights sanctioned under Article 14, 16, and 21 of the Indian Constitution. It was pointed out that it was discriminatory for the students who don’t have access to the cyber infrastructure and resources as they were in the zones where the internet is shut due to various challenges such as floods, etc. Further, it was also observed that various institutions such as NLU Delhi and JNU have more than 24 hours to the students in order to complete their examinations.
Furthermore, Advocate Shivankar Sharma, Counsel for the Intervener students remarked that the decision pertaining to conducting of the OBE is arbitrary, without the potential use of mind and violated the privacy of students.
On the other hand, in defense, Senior Advocate Sachin Dutta and Advocate M Rupal argued that conducting the examination in the open book way was the best solution and the students don’t require high technology at his disposal in order to appear for the examinations. It was also mentioned that the decision for conducting the exams in this way were taken collectively by various senior academicians and experts.
Further, it was confirmed that the procedure for conducting the examinations is secured and includes the Common Service Centres for the students, Grievance Committee is also established as a helpline and the students would always have the option to appear for the examinations physically which would be held in September 2020.
The issue of DU’s preparedness to conduct the OBE and at the same time safeguard the students is a subject matter which is pending before the Division Bench headed by Hima Kohli.
This News has been written and submitted by Ms. Vishakha Bhardwaj during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Vishakha is a third-year law student at the Army Institute of Law, Mohali.