The students of Delhi school of journalism (DSJ) have written a letter to the chief justice of the Delhi high court to express their grievances against the proposed online open book exams. The letter mentions the university’s “draconian overnight decision to conduct online examinations” as “blatantly unfair and demeaning to the students.” The Court’s register directed the students to file an online copy of the letter petition and they claim to have sent more than 500 emails already.
There were multiple strikes and protests from professors of the University of Delhi starting from December 2019, which continued till February 2020. From 9th March onwards, the University was shut due to the mid sem breaks. To prevent the spread of covid 19, the university was eventually declared shut till 31st March. The nation wide lockdown came into effect from 23rd March.
The letter highlights how “an alternative online class system was used to conduct classes” which was supposed to be “an aid and not a substitute.” The extremely poor attendance of these online classes” was due to the “logistical and financial shortcomings” of the students; thus, they “failed to reap the benefits” of such classes. Thus if students Haven’t attended classes, how can they give exams?
The DSJ students also stand in solidarity with PwD students, who need scribes to write their answer papers and students from Jammu and Kashmir who do not have access to the 4G internet connection. The students also mention how many students don’t have a favourable psychological atmosphere at home to study and write the papers, and how many of the students aren’t privileged enough to have adequate technology, Internet connection etc.
The letter also explains how students have never given any sort of open book examinations. Moreover, due to the mid sem breaks, many students left for their hometowns without carrying their books and study materials. “Hence, any online examination shall be detrimental to their academic performance, even after the examinations are made open-book.”, The letter says.
The letter also refers to the report released by the university grants commission (UGC) on 29th April, which said that “the present IT infrastructure of the universities coupled with the accessibility of internet connection in the remote parts of the country makes it infeasible for the universities to uniformly adopt the online mode of examinations.” The Ministry of Human Resource and Development also issued an advisory stating the students to be graded on the basis of 50% of the marks of the previous semesters and 50% of the Internal Assessments if the current situation prevails.
In conclusion, the students of DSJ want the court to intervene in this issue which affects lakhs of students studying in the university of Delhi.