The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Delhi University on a plea challenging its decision to conduct online open book exams for final-year students of undergraduate and postgraduate courses from July 1 in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Justice Jayant Nath issued notice to the university asking it to file a response to the plea by three students, belonging to economically weaker sections of the society, who have contended that this form of examination was beneficial only for those well off.
The petitioner-students – Abhishek, Sharanjeet Kumar and Deepak – have contended that the “well-off students” would have the support of “intelligent parents, friends, gadgets and search engines” during exams, whereas their poor counterparts would not have access to any of these.
The petitioners, represented by senior advocate J P Sengh and advocate Ayushi Chugh, also claimed that there was no way to find out who was cheating when open book online exams are held. Their petition further said that lack of proper internet connectivity and electricity would affect the performance of the poor students hailing from rural areas.
The three students, who study in different Delhi University colleges, have sought directions to the university to either withdraw its May 14 notification or to conduct the exams in examination halls by following social distancing norms to check the spread of the novel coronavirus. Another alternative suggested by them is to promote the final-year students on the basis of average of marks obtained in previous years and internal assessment of the current academic year.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on June 18.