Only 64% of differently abled students who were expected to appear in the first phase of Delhi University’s online Open Book Examinations (OBEs) have successfully submitted their answer papers on the examination portal, Delhi University told the High Court on Thursday.
The court has, meanwhile, asked the ministry of railways to consider issuing subsidised tickets for differently abled students who might have to come to Delhi to write offline exams in the second phase of exams.
According to data submitted by the university, 1,011 final year, undergraduate and postgraduate students who are differently abled were to appear in OBE, of whom 795 had registered on the exam portal. Of these, only 694 students had attempted papers on the portal, and only 647 successfully submitted them. Senior advocate S K Rungta, appearing for the National Federation of the Blind, said in court that as per information gathered by him, there are 222 visually impaired students who have not appeared in the examinations at all.
However, advocate Sachin Dutta, appearing for DU, said the data for differently abled students does not include paper submissions via e-mail, which he said would lessen the gap.
For students who did not attempt OBE in the online mode in the first phase, the university has told the court that it will be providing both online and offline options. It has stated that students who opt for the offline mode will give physical exams in centres in Delhi.
However, visually impaired students — many of whom did not appear in the first phase of OBE and have challenged the examinations — said the current arrangement for the second phase of exams did not address much of their concerns.
“Our stand has been that either we be provided assistive devices and study material or we be graded like the non-final year students have been. We haven’t yet been provided the study material but have just been given a new set of dates,” said Nitin Tyagi, a student of Shri Ram College of Commerce.
On Thursday, the HC bench said that visually impaired students who have not yet received their accessible study material and assistive technology “shall be at liberty to e-mail their grievance to the Grievance Officer or the Grievance Redressal Committee constituted in this regard so that the same can be addressed at the earliest”.
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