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DU proposal of conducting 2020 exams online opposed by DUTA

Amid the breakdown of novel coronavirus and lockdown to be extended till May 3, all the universities, colleges and schools are closed including Delhi University. Since, it is exam time for most of the universities, in DU exams for 2nd, 4th and 6th semester mostly take place in first week of May but due to coronavirus outbreak there is no scope of conducting individual examination for all the students. Regarding the current situation DU has decided to conduct annual semester exams online, the university has asked its computer centre (DUCC) to come up with a platform where the semester exams could be conducted in smooth manner. The university is planning to take online exams for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Delhi University Computer Centre is expected to develop an online platform for the students to perform for their semester exams. They might come up with a Smartphone application or consider developing a website where all the students could login using their university roll number to appear for the examination. The university website will be developed in a such a way that it will be easy for the beginners to understand also; the exams will be taken via Email or Whatsapp where students will be shared a set of questions and they will have to submit in a particular time duration. However, the decision is still pending; the online exams will only take place if UGC and MHRD approve the decision.

On the other hand, The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) is totally opposing the decision of online examinations taken by the university. DUTA has strongly pointed that online classes cannot be considered as a substitute for regular classes and students cannot be evaluated on the basis of same. The association has suggested the university to make adjustments and shift to the annual examination mode by making some changes in the course curriculum. The teaching body has suggested that after reopening of the university the leftover examinations including the internal assessment should be conducted after completing the remaining teaching days with priority to the final year students. According to DUTA the concept of online classes is good but there are fields like science which are incomplete without practical or fieldwork and online classes cannot provide with the same. Online examination will not be fair for every student regarding this concept.

Secondly, some of the students reside in villages where there is no internet connection, also; typing speed differs from student to student which could result in students not being able to attempt the whole question paper even after knowing all the answers in particular time limit. The idea with video clip with answers is also not a good shot as some students are good at writing but lack in their orator skills. So, in all conducting online semester exam is not a good idea.

Vinay Gupta, the Dean of Examination has suggested that eight questions will be sent to each student and they have to answer any four of them. The questions should not be repeated for any of the student so, if a department has 2000 students and each students has to be given eight questions then the teacher has to prepare 16000 questions which again suggests that conducting online semester exams is not a good idea. DUTA strongly suggests that exams should be conducted after reopening of the university, the main concern of the nation right now is to fight the pandemic and stay home and be safe. Conducting online semester exams is troublesome for students as well as teachers but still, the final decision is yet to come.

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