NEWS
12/08/2020 1:44 PM IST

DU Exams 2020: University Files Appeal Against HC Order Giving Students An Extra Hour For OBE

The Delhi University final semester exams began on Monday and have already implemented the directions by Justice Pratibha Singh last week.

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Delhi University moved the High Court on Tuesday against an order passed last week by Justice Pratibha Singh on the contentious online open book exams (OBE) for final years students which are currently underway.

Advocate Akash Sinha, counsel for the students, tweeted saying the university had filed an appeal as it had problems with relief provided to the students, which included an extra hour to write the exam.

Students had moved the Delhi High Court for a stay on the online exams citing limited internet connectivity, lack of access to study materials and online classes. 

While the single judge bench of Justice Pratibha Singh had declined to stay OBE, it had on August 7 given a series of directions to address student concerns.

These included question papers being made available on the exam portal as well as on student emails, an extra hour to upload answer sheets and auto-generated emails informing students of successful answer sheet submission.

The directions also included the formation of Grievance Committee under retired Justice Pratibha Rani to look into grievances regarding the process of online OBE and submit a report after the exams ended in three weeks, LiveLaw reported.

Bar&Bench reported that the matter is likely to be listed before a division bench of the Delhi High Court this week.

The process of planning and carrying out the exams has been riddled with glitches and errors students say.

On Tuesday, around 32,000 Delhi University undergraduate and postgraduate students appeared for the OBE, with many saying they faced issues uploading their answer sheets to the varsity portal, Press Trust of India reported.

The concerns, which had also been reported on Monday, the first day of commencement of the final examination, included network issues, power failure at home due to which the page blanked out multiple times, not receiving acknowledgement receipts from the varsity after mailing answer sheets, tough questions and lengthy question papers.

Samiya Aziz, a student of Zakir Husain College who is currently in her hometown in Kashmir, said she had gone to her friend’s place to write the exam since she did not want to use the 2G network available on her phone. Her exam was in the 11.30 am to 3.30 pm shift.

“I wrote the paper and everything was smooth till the time I started uploading it. The site crashed and I could not upload my answer sheet when there was only a minute left for the time limit ot finish. I mailed it to the college ID and I hope it is accepted,” she told PTI.

Her friend Bushra, who is also in Kashmir, used her phone’s 2G connection to take the exam and could only upload the answer sheets at 4 pm.

“I am tense. I could not upload my answer sheets on the portal and then I sent it to the college ID. I am hoping that my answer sheets are accepted because there was a delay of almost half an hour,” she said.

A student, requesting anonymity, said the OBE portal crashed multiple times and it was stressful for students.

“The varsity kept saying that the portal would work smoothly but we had to resort to sending an email in the end. The paper was quite lengthy. Some students even contacted the nodal officer for doubts, but they only got vague answers like ‘no specific guidelines’. It was a disappointing experience for most of the students,” he told PTI.

Raushan Kumar, a resident of Muzaffarpur in Bihar, said it was a repeat of what happened in mock exams as the portal crashed and he could not upload his answer sheets. He had to email them to the university which caused a further delay and he feared that his answer sheets would not be accepted for evaluation.

Professor Sanjeev Singh, joint director of Delhi University’s Computer Centre, told PTI the students might have faced issues in uploading answer sheets during the peak time when the exam time is about to end. The students had the option of mailing their answer sheets to the varsity.

When asked about students claiming that they did not receive acknowledgement mails, he said there might have been a delay of five minutes in sending those emails.

Another official told PTI even if there is delay in receiving the answer sheets after the deadline has ended, the varsity is accepting them.

(With PTI inputs)