New Delhi: Delhi University (DU) has decided to go ahead with final exams starting 7 June despite opposition from students, but will give an extra chance to those who are unable to take them on account of Covid, ThePrint has learnt.
Officials in the exam branch of the university said the decision is in accordance with University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines issued last year. The higher education regulator had last year asked universities to give an extra chance to those who are unable to appear for exams because they stay in containment zones and are unable to access the internet or printing/scanning services to write and send back their papers.
Since the situation this year is far worse in light of the second wave, the university has decided to extend the provision to this academic session as well.
“We are trying to ensure that students do not waste an academic year, so we want exams to be conducted. We are awaiting instructions from the UGC on how exactly to go about it, but we plan to give another chance to those students who are unable to appear in exams due to Covid-related reasons,” Ajay Kumar Arora, the officer on special duty at the exams branch, told ThePrint.
DU authorities had clarified earlier that the exams will be held online. The exams will be conducted in the open-book format, and only for final-semester, final-year students, DU registrar Vikas Gupta had told ThePrint.
More than 1.5 lakh students are scheduled to appear in the DU final exams.
Last year, exam attendance stood at 90 per cent as some students could not appear for exams due to Covid- and lockdown-related reasons.
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Students oppose exams
In a circular issued on 6 May, the UGC said universities should not hold any offline exams in May owing to the high number of Covid cases in the country. The commission, however, allowed online exams to take place at the university’s convenience, keeping the local situation in mind. The 6 May circular also said the situation will be reviewed in June.
Since then, there has been no communication from the commission with respect to university exams. ThePrint reached UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain by text for a comment, but hadn’t received a response by the time of publishing this report.
DU students, led by the university’s student union (DUSU), have been demanding the cancellation of the final exams citing the pressure of the ongoing pandemic.
A survey conducted among 1,100 respondents by the students union at the Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College showed in May that over 68 per cent are not ready for exams. Among those who participated in the survey, 27.2 per cent had themselves tested positive for Covid-19, while nearly 54 per cent said an immediate family member had been diagnosed with the disease.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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