According to sources, several Delhi University (DU) colleges received answer sheets from “unknown” students. This happened within the first two days of the online Open Book Examinations (OBEs). These developments have raised concerns as they go on to show that the answer sheets can either be misplaced or completely lost, thus, creating chaos during the evaluation process.
Due to the pandemic and the guidelines laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC), the OBEs had to be conducted as a last resort. The exams began on the 10th August and will continue till the 31st. About 2,40,000 final-year students of DU, both undergraduate and postgraduate are taking the exams.
According to the guidelines, students can either upload their answer sheets to the University portal or send them via email to their colleges, departments or to the central University email. However, two days after the exams began, several colleges stated that they had received answer sheets from unregistered students.
For instance, Babli Moitra Saraf, the Principal of Indraprastha College (IP) for Women, stated that the college received 50 answer sheets of students who were not enrolled in the college. The administration could not identify the names of the colleges of many students. So, they have made a separate folder for answer sheets and have informed the university administration about the same. The college waits for a response from either the students or their respective colleges to step up and provide a solution to this chaotic situation.
Not just IP, even Kirori Mal College (KMC) and Aryabhatta College faced this issue. KMC had received about 40 such answer sheets on the second day. Vibha Singh Chauhan, the principal stated that they had released a notice on their website requesting students to send their answer sheets to their respective colleges only.
Manoj Sinha, principal of Aryabhatta College, said, “On Monday, we had also received a few answer sheets of students who are not registered with our college. We immediately forwarded them to the university administration.”
Even the faculty members have raised concerns about such issues. Colleges will have a hard time collecting, analyzing, compiling, and then evaluating the answer sheets.
Nonetheless, Sanjeev Singh, the head of the computer centre, DU, stated that all the colleges would send the answer sheets of such students directly to the examination branch. It is then the examination branch that will segregate the answer sheets based on the roll numbers. Thus, it is not an issue at all.
The Treasurer of DU Teacher’s Association, Abha Dev Habib, had a query regarding how the University shall decide on which answer sheet among the multiple submissions, be treated as the final script for evaluation. Apart from the examination branch having a Herculean task ahead of them, these queries are indeed valid and add more stress to the entire situation of the OBEs.