Hundreds of Delhi University (DU) students have been protesting at the Arts Faculty of DU’s North Campus since Monday, 4 April. They have been demanding that their semester exams be conducted online, instead of offline since their courses were also conducted online.
On Monday, a case was registered against five students under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). A few other students were detained and then released. However, the agitation continued on Tuesday. Students said that the administration asked them to leave the campus otherwise ‘departmental and police action’ would be taken against them.
Why Are Students Protesting?
Students in the second, fourth and sixth semesters will be giving offline examinations from May while those in the first, third, and fifth semesters are giving online open book exams.
Aftab Alam, a student leader who studies in DU’s Faculty of Law, told The Quint, “for the last two years, we have become accustomed to online open book exams. Yes, we did want to return to offline classes but this was not done systematically. We could have given these exams online and started afresh from the next year.”
"Many students who were not able to study properly, are now afraid that their future will be affected by these exams since they are not fully prepared as the entire semester was conducted online."Aftab Alam, a DU student
Rajnish Tiwari, a final year student of the Hindi Department said, “students are no longer in the habit of giving offline examinations and it might take some time getting used to it. Many did not have access to readings and course material till very recently.”
He added that there is more pressure on science students who have to give practical examinations as they have not done so in the last two years.
Ever since physical classes were halted due to the pandemic, classes shifted online and so did the exams. Exams have been conducted in the open book online exam mode since 2020. Students only returned to campus in February this year.
Relaxations in Exams
On April 1, the university had issued a notice that students who will be appearing for physical examinations will be given an additional 30 minutes. The notice added that the faculty/department will be requested to give additional choices in the paper, wherever applicable.
Those students who had filled the form and could not appear for the paper for justifiable reasons would be given a chance to appear for the exams. However, students said that these relaxations would not help their cause.
(Sources: The Indian Express)