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Delhi University’s open book test gets backing from MHRD – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Backing Delhi University’s plan for holding online open book exams (OBE), Union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) on Thursday (May 28) suggested a slew of measures so that no student was left behind due to economic reasons or lack of internet access.

The ministry has asked DU to tie-up with Common Service Centres (CSC) across the country for the final semester exams for third-year students and follow University Grants Commission’s guidelines for promoting first and second-year students. For students from areas like Jammu & Kashmir who fail to take OBE, a pen-paper exam has been proposed in September.

In the OBE proposed by DU, students would have to download the question paper, refer to study materials and mail the scanned answersheets back. Students from underserved areas and economically weaker sections, however, complained that they were at a disadvantage because of lack of internet connectivity or low speed. Some students also cited unavailability of digital infrastructure.

MHRD was of the view that universities needed to innovate to ensure that there was no academic loss in the larger interest of the students. Amit Khare, secretary (higher education), said it was suggested that DU tie-up with CSCs so that final-year students could take exams in case they were facing connectivity issues. “There are around 2.5 lakh final-year students. Every panchayat or block has CSCs where students can take OBE so that none are left behind,” he added.

“Also, DU should first start with those papers that have fewer candidates so that the impact of technical glitches is less and issues are resolved fast. The pen-paper exam has been suggested in September with the idea that online exams shouldn’t be the reason for disqualification of a student due to economic or other reasons,” said Khare.

The UGC guidelines for promoting first and second-year students state: “In case the situation doesn’t appear to be normal, grading of students can be composite of 50% marks on the basis of internal evaluation adopted by the universities and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in the previous semester.”

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