DU Open Book Exam 2020 Phase 2 Guidelines: Students Permitted to Bring Own Stationary, Electronic Gadgets, Masks & Sanitizers

Samrat Roy Samrat Roy
Exam Prep Master

In order to ensure minimal contact in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Delhi University(DU) asks students to get their own sheets of paper to write answers during the offline open-book (OBE) exams scheduled for September 14, 2020. The university will also allow undergraduate and postgraduate students to take electronic gadgets such as cellphones, laptops or tablets to the examination rooms.

The university filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, which stated that it would conduct a second phase of open-book exams for students who did not appear in the first phase, from August 10, 2020 to August 31, 2020 in both the online and offline (physical tests at the university centre) mode.

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It is said that students can take the exams at the Delhi University Examination Center or online (if they are unable to travel due to a pandemic).

Mentioning the standards that would be followed during the physical exams, the university said in its affidavit, "Students for both the mode of examination, i.e. physical or ICT (Information and Communication Technology) based activities, will answer questions on plain / ruled A4 size paper and use their own papers to write their answers. Physical assistance will not be provided during the college and departmental examinations. All the stationery required for the examinations must be arranged by the students for the examinations.

In addition to stationery, face masks, sanitisers and electronic gadgets will also be allowed inside the examination centres.

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"All electronic gadgets shall be permitted during examinations. Question papers may be sent to WhatsApp or e-mail instead of printed paper during the examinations. However, students may submit their request to the College / Department for a physical examination paper as per the date sheet, "the affidavit added.

DU Dean of Balaram Pani Colleges said that students would be asked to provide the answer sheets to ensure minimum contact. "The answer scripts can not be sanitised. Also, gadgets will be required to access question papers and study materials for open-book examinations, "he said.

The second phase of the examinations will be carried out for final year undergraduate and postgraduate students, including those enrolled in the School of Open Learning (SOL) and the Non-College Women's Education Board (NCWEB), who either did not complete the exams or failed to upload/submit the scanned images of the answer scripts in the first phase.

In addition, students in the PWD (People with Disabilities) category who have taken part in the first phase of the examination but wish to improve their performance in selected papers may take part in the second phase of the examination.

Teachers said that most students would still prefer to appear in remote exams if they had an option. Pankaj Garg, Associate Professor at Rajdhani College, said, "How will students bring all their open-book study materials to the Exam Center? It's not possible to get everything on mobile phones, either. They're going to have to get laptops or iPads with study material on them. This is not going to serve the purpose at all. The majority of students who were unable to attend the first phase of the exams were those who did not have gadgets.

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Rajesh Jha, a member of the Executive Board of the University (EC), said, "Those who have not been able to attend the first phase of the exams will not be able to overcome the constraints within a few days.

And travelling in the midst of a pandemic is a huge risk. The university should have provided the centres in the respective cities of the candidates instead of calling them all the way to Delhi.”

Students are still not sure whether physical exams are feasible. Sangeeta (who goes by her first name), a final year student from South Delhi College and a resident of Jharkhand, said, "How are we going to travel to Delhi during a pandemic? Public transport is not a regular occurrence. I was unable to appear in the first phase because of the lack of the Internet in my village. I don't know which option to choose right now.

Access to the study material during the exam will remain a challenge for visually challenged students. Deepak Gupta, a visually impaired postgraduate student at St Stephen's College, said that gadgets would not be useful to them without aiding devices.

"We can't read printed books. We're using two types of devices. One is a laptop or a netbook with a screen reader software and the other is a DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) player. These players have recorded material for the study. First, colleges have to deliver them to us for open-book exams along with a writer, "he said.