New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has directed Delhi University to postpone its semester exams, to be held through the online Open Book Examination (OBE) mode, from the scheduled date of 10 July to sometime in the second half of August, ThePrint has learnt.
At a meeting with representatives from DU, the ministry asked for a detailed report from the university on the “challenges” in holding the OBE, said senior officials, who didn’t wish to be named.
The ministry also instructed the university to further postpone the exams, which will allow students to write papers with help from textbooks.
“In the meeting on Tuesday, it was decided that the university will postpone its exams and plan it after 15 August,” said an official.
In a statement released Tuesday, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said, “Held a meeting with officials of HRD Ministry and Delhi University today to discuss a synchronized calendar for DU admissions and CBSE board examination results etc. I would like to assure everyone that we at MHRD are committed to students’ health and quality education.”
The Delhi University’s decision to hold exams in the OBE mode has been criticised by both students and teachers from the university, citing various issues like unavailability of infrastructure.
‘Keep admission window open’
The official quoted above said DU has also been asked to keep its admission window open until the results of National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) are declared.
“All universities, including DU, have been asked to keep their admission window open till October-November, till the time JEE and NEET results are declared and counselling is over,” said the official.
DU’s decision to hold OBE is not just limited to opposition from teachers and students, but has also been challenged in the Delhi High Court.
The plea seeks directions to the Centre for setting up an effective mechanism for visually impaired and other disabled persons. The petitioners, Prateek Sharma and Diksha Singh, demanded that educational instructions should be given to disabled persons properly and teaching material is provided to them through the online mode during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the hearing in the court Monday, DU said that “those students who are unable to take them, be it persons with disabilities or others, will be allowed to appear for the exams physically in September”.