Students of the School of Open Learning (SOL), University of Delhi have alleged the SOL website crashed Thursday when they logged on to try and download their admit cards and question papers for internal assessment. This comes less than a week before Delhi University (DU) holds centralised online open-book exams (OBE) for its final year students.
Meanwhile, 25 Academic Council (AC) and Executive Council (EC) members wrote to the DU Vice-Chancellor to cancel the OBE.
Several students who tried to access the SOL website Thursday said the site was not loading. “The question papers for eight papers that make up our BA programme course were supposed to be uploaded today on our personal dashboard. We are supposed to answer them and send it back by July 11 as part of an internal assessment. I was trying since 9:30 AM to access the website but it kept showing an error. One whole day has got wasted,” said Stuti Kohli, a student.
Bhavishya Sharma, a BA (Hons) English student, said the university had not informed them when they would get their admit card despite exams beginning on July 1. “The website had earlier said they would be available after June 25. When I tried to open it today, I couldn’t. There is no clarity about when we’ll get our admit cards now,” she said.
Kajal Sharma, another student of BA (Hons) English, said they were also informed mock exams would be conducted before the online OBE but there had been no movement on that front. “Usually we get an email much before the exams that the admit card is available to download. This time I didn’t get it. Since we were told it will be on June 25, I tried to open the website but it showed some error. It is a matter of concern for us that this is the situation just a few days before our exam,” she said.
SOL officer on special duty (OSD) U S Pandey said there was some “technical issue” for some time in the morning but it was fixed. Asked if technical issues could affect online OBE, he said, “You cannot generalise like that. We have the best IT technology. We have conducted 1000 lectures online. Some technical issues may come but we are well-prepared.”
Meanwhile, the AC and EC members have asked that the exams be scrapped, citing comments by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.
“The Hon. Union Minister of HRD is learned to have advised the UGC to revisit its earlier guidelines regarding Conduct of Examinations and Academic Calendar and it has also been reported that the UGC Expert Committee has recommended the cancellation of examinations for terminal semester / year students. It appears that both the HRD minister and the UGC Committee have appreciated the objections raised by teachers and students against the university’s decision to conduct online open-book exams,” they wrote to VC Yogesh Tyagi.
They said the exams were “discriminatory” especially due to “the lack of access to online or other resources as well as technological support, and the fact that the OBE would promote the use of unfair means and penalise honest students”.
Tyagi did not respond to calls and texts.
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