DU to hold mock tests to make students accustomed to online open-book exams

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The Delhi University on Saturday released a list of measures to be taken by various colleges for conducting online open book examinations for final year students from July 1.

The measures include holding mock tests for students, notifying students through e-mail and other modes about the exams, and filling up of a pro forma by students stating that no unfair means are being adopted by them.

The university also said in case students miss out on taking the open-book exam (OBE), they will be given an opportunity to appear for pen and paper exams when the situation normalises.

“For students residing in Jammu and Kashmir and other such areas which lack the internet and hardware facility required for the OBE, the university has finalised to engage Common Service Centres (CSC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology,” it said.

The students shall be allowed to use information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure resources available with the CSC academy for downloading and taking printout of question papers, scanning and uploading answer sheets on the portal, the varsity said.

The students can avail all these facilities for free at CSCs. There are more than two lakh functional CSCs located at almost all gram panchayats at village level throughout India and all of them shall be available for students, it said.

The university’s decision has been met with opposition from student groups and teachers’ bodies who have listed the problems of internet connectivity, possibility of adoption of dishonest practices by students.

Notwithstanding that, the university on Saturday issued directives to colleges on the measures to be adopted for the exams.

“In view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic, it is felt that the examinations cannot be conducted in conventional mode as per the existing government norms of maintaining social distancing and ensuring safety and health of students,” the university said.

It said that after much deliberation, it was decided that as a one-time measure, open-book examinations shall be adopted as an alternative for the final semester, term or year students for the 2019-2020 academic session.

Open-book exam don’t entirely require online platform, rather only limited access to internet for downloading question papers and for uploading answer sheets after completion of the test, it said.

To check the use of any unfair means during the examinations, each student shall be sign an undertaking by clicking a button on the portal along with scanned images of answer scripts, the university said.

Colleges should remain in contact with their students. Besides using the official e-mail and SMS services, messaging apps like WhatsApp may also be adopted for sending important information to the students, it said.

Colleges may invite online requests from students in case they need to use ICT infrastructure during examinations. If these requests are in high number, the students can be advised to avail the facilities available at Common Service Centre (CSC) near their residence.

The examination branch shall e-mail the question papers to the college on each day of exam for every session 45 minutes prior to the commencement of the examination. Students shall answer the questions on plain A4 size paper.

The total duration of the open-book exams shall be of three hours of which two hours shall be given to students for answering the questions and an additional hour shall be utilised for downloading the question papers and uploading the scanned images of answer sheets.

Mock tests will be available for the students on the university portal a week prior to commencement of the exams so that students can make themselves accustomed with the new mode of exams, it said.

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