DU issues guidelines for online OBE semester exams to be held from Dec 12

New Delhi: Delhi University on Thursday issued guidelines for the online open-book semester examination for second and third-year students beginning December 12.

Unlike the previous semester examination that took place in August only for final-year graduates, students in third and fifth semesters will also appear for the online OBE. Essential repeaters of first- and second-year UG courses can also appear for these exams along with those wishing to improve their scores.

While filling the examination forms, students can either opt for appearing in physical mode from their faculty, department, or centre, or remote mode from home. “Those who have opted for writing exam by physical mode will have the choice of writing it through remote mode but not the vice-versa. The college will provide the necessary infrastructure in compliance with the ministry of home affairs and University Grants Commission guidelines in view of Covid-19,” Dean (Examinations) said in a notice Thursday.

As per the instructions issued by the exam department, students opting for writing the exam in physical mode will be provided with information and communications technologies (ICT) including computers. Like last time, students will have to bring their own A4 size papers to ensure that the examination process is contactless. Those appearing from home will have to arrange their own devices and internet connectivity to download question papers and email or upload written answer sheets in PDF format.

All students will submit an undertaking of not having used any unfair means in taking the examination. The duration of the examination will be four hours, of which three hours will be used for answering the questions. Students from People with Disabilities category will be given with six hours.

“In the case of unforeseen glitches or technical difficulties, the student is advised to submit his/her script beyond the specified time period with the documentary evidence. The maximum time limit for delayed submissions is 60 minutes. However, all such cases will be examined by the review committee,” Dean (Exams) said.

Dean (Examinations) DS Rawat told HT that based on data analysis, the university will conduct exams in two separate modes for the undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) students. “Colleges, which conduct UG exams, and departments, which conduct PG exams, will have different modes of OBE this time. While UG students will only be allowed to submit their answer sheets on the OBE portal and no email submissions will be allowed, for PG students departments will conduct the exams on their own and can go for either email submissions, Google classrooms or any other mode,” he said.

“Following the OBE exams in August, we analysed the data and found that 92% of submissions were on the OBE portal despite the option of email submissions. However, since we allowed students to submit answer scripts over email, there was a lot of duplicity of answer scripts. Our computer centre has looked into the errors that came up last time and have worked on it,” he said.

Manoj Sinha, principal of Aryabhatta College, said, “The August OBE examinations was the first time that the format was being used. Therefore, there were errors and glitches from all sides. It is expected that the situation will be better this time and exams will be conducted smoothly. This time, the students are also relatively prepared because they have had interaction with their peers and gained some experience.”

Students, however, are still concerned over the exams since this is the first time they will be appearing through this mode. Bahana Saikia, a final-year UG student studying Economics at Miranda House, said, “We are yet to know about the pattern of the question paper. The internet connectivity is still an issue for students, especially those who are relying on their mobile internet packs. Students in low connectivity areas have issues with their classes.”

The varsity’s decision to conduct OBE as a one-time measure in view of the Covid-19 pandemic was met with staunch opposition from several students and faculty members. Despite this, online OBE was held for the university’s 260,000 final-year UG and PG students between August 10 and 31. Currently, several final-year UG students, who recently received their results, have alleged that they were either marked absent or given zero entirely jeopardizing their chances of admission to postgraduate courses.

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