An email sent to students of Delhi University appearing for online open book exams (OBE) late Tuesday night added to the confusion surrounding the submission of their answer sheets and the examination exercise.
Around 67,000 students had sat for the exam until Tuesday — the second day of OBE. Wednesday saw just 300 students appear as not many exams were scheduled. However, despite a small size, glitches continued, with the exam portal showing “no paper scheduled today” for MA Sociology students who were to appear for the Sociology of Law paper. The department’s nodal officer had to write to DU authorities to email the question paper.
On Tuesday, hundreds of students were forced to send scans of their answer sheets by email to varsity authorities, after facing issues with uploading them on the exam portal. Several students alleged the server crashed minutes before the submission deadline.
Dean Examination Vinay Gupta did not respond to calls and texts.
While some students received a confirmation email from the university, some did not. Starting around 1 am on Tuesday night, several students, including many who received the confirmation email, got an email from DU’s OBE portal mentioning their examination roll number and paper number.
“It appears your submission could not be completed. Your one or more responses have been auto-submitted,” read the email. This left students perplexed, who then started reaching out to the nodal officers in each college.
“We had somehow managed to submit our answers yesterday despite facing server errors, but this mail around 1: 25 am has confused us. We are stressed,” said a Hindi (Hons) student of Dyal Singh College.
A Physics student from Hindu College, who received a similar email, tweeted, “At the homepage it was showing my exam has not been submitted… Now I got a mail from DU that my answers have been auto submitted. I have no idea how many answers have been submitted.”
Former Executive Council member Abha Dev Habib said, “The exam branch is going to have nightmares in compiling answer scripts as students are submitting multiple times. Sometimes the portal crashes midway and then they are emailing midway… How will the university decide which script among multiple submissions should be taken as the final evaluation?”
Nodal officers said they were equally confused. “When calls started coming, I told students to address them directly to the given email ID because we didn’t know what it meant either and had to seek clarity,” said Kumar Ashutosh, nodal officer for College of Vocational Studies.
Sanjeev Singh from DU’s Computer Centre however said the email was clear. “The submission could not be completed means it couldn’t be completed on the portal because students didn’t push the submit button. The second line says it was auto-submitted as a result. So they don’t need to worry. Their responses have been recorded,” he said.
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