No Internet: Students raise concern over online examinations feasibility

New Delhi: As major universities in national Capital are reportedly gearing up to conduct examinations online, students have criticized the move stating that many who come from marginalized societies don't have the luxury of internet.

Udita a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) said that she has not been able to contact many people due to non-availability of the internet. "Not everyone has the luxury of the internet. There are so many people we have been trying to contact online, however, they are not available as so many live in rural areas or are from Kashmir where students are struggling with 2G connection," she told the correspondent.

In the same regard, JNU Collective gave out a statement. "NSSO data reveals that, as of 2014, less than 10 per cent of Indians (with an even lower proportion among rural Indians, women and the historically oppressed castes/tribes) could access any form of higher education after school. Instead of remedying such stark inequality by expanding quality higher education coverage, recent moves have aimed at formalising these divides," said the statement.

Aadil, a student of Delhi University, is struggling with internet access. Hailing from Kashmir, Aadil is at home and can't access online classes due to 2G speed and other restrictions. "It was our mid-semester break after which we would have joined classes but due to COVID-19 and lockdown, everything was shut. So, my college, following the university's notice started holding E-learning techniques. Because we were having mid-semester break, I left for home on March 6 and was supposed to come back on March 20 but due to the pandemic, I couldn't and also had limited study material with me. Now when we were asked to join online classes, it took me 2 hours to download an app of 20mb," he said, adding that joining online classes was far more difficult.

Visibiliy distressed due to this, Aadil said that many students from Kashmir are studying in major Central universities in Delhi and are facing the same issue. "The education system is totally shut in Kashmir and there is urgent need to look after it," he added.

Meanwhile, Udita said that many students are living in areas where technology still hasn't reached.

Abha Dev, Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) office bearer and a professor at Miranda College, said that out of 40 students, hardly ten are able to attend classes. "What the university should have done was conduct surveys from students and ask whether they approve of this method," she told the correspondent. She also said that letters have been written to the Vice-Chancellor in the same regard.

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