The Delhi Technological University (DTU) on Monday released the date-sheet for the upcoming examinations of 1st-3rd year students. As per the date-sheet, the DTU exams will begin from July 27, 2020. This notification comes amid the massive online protests with #canceldtuexams of students against the exams.
Several students told indiatvnews.com that the notification is "not following" the UGC guidelines that had asked the colleges to directly promote the intermediate students if the COVID-19 situation worsens.
The UGC guidelines which were issued in April stated: "For intermediate semester/year students, the universities may conduct examinations, after making a comprehensive assessment of their level of preparedness, residential status of the students, status of COVID-19 pandemic spread in different region/state and other factors. In case the situation does not appear to be normal in view of COVID-19, in order to maintain “social distancing”, safety and health of the students, grading of the students could be composite of 50% marks on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation adopted by the universities and the remaining 50% marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester only (if available)."
"The internal evaluation can be continuous evaluation, prelims, mid-semester, internal assignments, or whatever name is given for student progression. In the situations where previous semester or previous year marks are not available, particularly in the first year of the annual pattern of examinations, 100% evaluation may be done on the basis of internal evaluation. If the student wishes to improve the grades, he/she may appear in special exams for such subjects during the next semester. This provision for intermediate semester examinations is only for the current academic session (2019-20) in view of COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining safety and health of all the stakeholders and sanctity and quality of examinations," the guidelines stated.
The students argued that the government is predicting 5,50,000 COVID19 cases by July 31st in Delhi. Such alarming statistics and the general plight of life in lockdown have deteriorated their mental health.
Students informed that despite these guidelines, DTU is "adamant" to conduct the examinations for the students who are currently in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd years of their respective courses.
"We have been tweeting, signing petitions, sending emails and so much stuff but we haven't received any response yet. At this hour of the day, when we are facing the pandemic of coronavirus and Delhi has so many cases, universities are thinking about conducting online exams," a student told indiatvnews.com.
Here are the reasons why students are demanding cancellation of DTU exams:
- The implementation demands uninterrupted internet access for 2 continuous hours which is not possible for many, especially those from a weaker economic background or those living in remote areas.
- University students with presence across the nation have no access to books, laptops, internet, and webcam (all essential for examination) as they left for their native places as soon as the nationwide lockdown was imposed, expecting it to be brief.
- In addition, for the students who are currently Interning, it will become difficult to leave internships in between and prepare for the Online Examinations.
- The University proclaims that those who are unable to appear for online exams should wait and give them offline at the university itself. This is highly unfeasible due to the uncertainty surrounding the current scenario.
- It is unlikely that the university will open before October, which will lead to a gap of at least 5 months since the online classes were held.
- In addition, it will impact the placements of the incoming final year students, as well as disrupt the curriculum of the upcoming semesters.
"Since most of the Universities have canceled the current semester exams, DTU should also consider the cancellation of End Term Examination for Semesters II, IV, and VI. Rather, the University should grade students on the basis of Projects/Assignments/CWS, Grade Point of the Previous Term and Mid Term Exams held in March 2020," said Rohit*, a 3rd-year DTU student.
In May, DTU students have signed an online petition to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to cancel the term-end examinations. The final year students demand cancellation of semester exams that would be conducted online. Till now more than 900 students have filed the petition.
*Names changed on request