The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) has written to the University Grants Commission (UGC) urging the higher education regulator to take a “quick decision” regarding university examinations in consideration of the mental and physical well being of the students.

Delhi University (DU) had postponed the end-semester open book examinations “for ten days in view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic” on Saturday. The new date sheet is expected to be announced on July 3.

Teachers said that the announcement has created a “wave of panic” across the university as many students had already made travel plans according to the schedule. They said that the “mindless experimentation“ of open book examinations is affecting the mental and physical wellbeing of the students.

DUTA, in its letter addressed to the UGC Chairperson, said: “It is clear the University is totally unprepared to conduct these exams. The online OBE project of DU has been marred with failure right from the beginning. The latest fiasco is the glaring errors in the date sheets of the Mock Examinations released today, June 29.”

Teachers said that the numerous errors in the paper numbers and paper titles of the DU open book exam date sheet showed unpreparedness from the administration’s side. They also said that the university administration has “chosen to ignore” HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank’s statement asking UGC to revisit the guidelines for holding examinations by fixing the exam date before the outcome of UGC meeting is public.

DUTA said that many students have reported that the Common Service Centres for taking the open book examinations are not functional in many places. They said that the university is putting the lives of students at risk by forcing them to travel to open book exam centres during the pandemic

On June 24, Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ordered UGC to “revisit” its guidelines on exams and academic calendar issued in May. The UGC meeting to discuss the issue was reported to be held today.

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