Representational image of the Delhi University Arts Faculty | Photo: Commons
Representational image of the Delhi University Arts Faculty | Photo: Commons
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New Delhi: The teachers from the Department of Sociology at Delhi University said less than 50 per cent students were able to join the online classes held by the department making the option of online exams impossible.

In its Committee of Courses (COC) and Studies meeting Thursday, the department’s faculty said online exams were not viable when a large number of students were not even able to attend the online classes.

“On an average, less than 50 percent students, the majority of them girls, were able to join online classes or are being able to access the readings placed online,” the minutes of the COC meeting, accessed by ThePrint read.

According to the teachers, a similar situation exists across other departments in the university as well.

Also read: ‘Neither feasible, nor desirable’ — DU students and teachers oppose open-book online exams

Students from J&K, Northeast face severe difficulties

On May 13, the DU administration had sent a letter to all faculty members asking them to begin preparations for an online open-book semester exam at the university.

Since the announcement, several colleges, departments and student associations have protested against the move and demanded a withdrawal of the letter.

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The Sociology Department had also sent a letter to the administration against the proposed online exams on 17 May.

The COC meeting discussed the difficulties that several students from Jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast and those from underprivileged families faced, especially in terms of internet access.

“Parents of students from underprivileged sections have suffered loss of income and are unable to provide their wards with the infrastructural requirements for online study and exams. Students from the Northeast encounter frequent disruptions of internet services and erratic electricity supply. The same is true for those admitted under PMSSS, with only 2G services available in J&K and Ladakh  and those of army personnel posted in these areas,” the minutes read. 

A teacher from the department, who wished to remain anonymous, told ThePrint, “We have seen bad attendance in our department, hence we can give out some kind of data but similar situation exists in other departments across the university as well.” 

Also read: Common entrance test for college ruled out, DU, AMU, BHU will have to continue own admissions

According to the proposal extended by Vinay Gupta, DU’s Dean Examination, the students will be given question papers through an online portal, they will have to download the paper from the portal, write answers on plain paper, scan the answer sheet and upload it back on to the portal.

The exam will be an open book exam, which means that students will be able to refer to books while answering the questions. 

However, the Sociology Department states that the “final semester students should be exempted from exams.”

Instead, the teachers recommend calculating the average of marks of the previous five semesters for the final semester marks.

Recently, about 170 teachers from the university’s Department of Economics also expressed their concerns about online exams Wednesday.

The Department of Economics suggested a model, which according to them is being followed by US universities— “To pass the students based on internal assessments for this semester and not assign any grades for this semester’s papers at all. The overall grade of the students should thus be the one achieved till the last semester.” 

Also read: Delhi University to remain closed till 31 May, employees asked to download Aarogya Setu


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