Delhi University students are worried over delayed exams

Children COVID-19 Education

Dean says open book exams will be conducted.

Final-year students of Delhi University are worried because results will be announced late due to a delayed start of exams.

The university has announced that the exams will commence in early June, after a month’s delay.

“Top management institutes in India are supposed to start on June 30. Given their track record, there’s no way they (will) finish exams and declare results anywhere near this timeframe,” said Harsh Agarwal, a final-year student of Shri Ram College of Commerce.

Agarwal has been offered admission by the London Business School for his post-graduation.

“What’s scary is, what if colleges of higher studies don’t allow you to join unless you show them proof that you are a graduate…,” Agarwal said.

Some students have posted on social media their distress over DU exam dates clashing with their post-graduation entrance exams.

According to a May 12 Hindustan Times report, DU had announced the cancellation of online exams and postponement of exams for all students. This further created fear in the minds of students. The report highlighted instances of several colleges asking their students to come to college for practical exams.

Agarwal said: “Physical exams are probably the least feasible thing. DU has foreign nationals studying in their colleges. So they need to be given a heads-up well in advance to make travel arrangements. Given the current situation in Delhi, that seems out of the question. Even students who live in India but are not based in Delhi need to make living arrangements for those 10 days in which they conduct exams.”

Naisha Bansal, a final-year student of Kamla Nehru College, said: “The university has postponed exams repeatedly, which is delaying our graduation. This wave has affected young people more. Hence, it was logical to ask for a postponement but not an indefinite one.”

Bansal said she is unhappy with the university’s decision to cancel optional online exams and open book examinations (OBEs) that were conducted in 2020.

The All India Students Association (AISA) has been opposing the decision to conduct exams for students of any year.

Prasenjeet Kumar, working general secretary of AISA, said: “Everybody has been affected by Covid. Students have tested positive; families have tested positive. Our association has talked to the university dean regarding a set of guidelines for students who have been affected by Covid, and also have demanded cancellation of exams or employing an alternative method for not just first- and second-year students but for all as Covid has affected all.”

Manu Sakunia, a career counsellor, said: “Cancellation of exams can’t be a solution. Final-year exams are very important as they are career-defining. I do agree that there is an environment of uncertainty, but students should not be worried. This is not an Indian thing but something which is happening across the world, so everything is bound to be delayed.”

Sakunia said several universities have started accepting previous semester mark sheets till the final degree is issued or a provisional certificate in case the exams have been conducted.

Prof. D.S. Rawat, dean of examinations, denied the Hindustan Times report, calling it factually incorrect. “The university has decided to conduct examinations from June 7, 2021. We have also decided to conduct OBEs as notified earlier. The students should not worry.”

Even as the university takes its final decision, there is a trust deficit among the students who have been distressed about their future.

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