'Playing with lives of children; not fair about preparedness'

New Delhi: Delhi University on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that it had decided to postpone the Open Book Examinations (OBE), scheduled to start from July 10, for final year under-graduate courses to the next month.

The DU submitted before Justice Prathiba M Singh that it will hold exams after Independence Day.

The court expressed displeasure over the varsity's decision and said, "Just see how you are playing the lives of children."

"You were not fair with the court about your preparedness for holding the online examinations. You are saying you are ready but the minutes of your meeting show the contrary," Justice Singh told the DU counsel.

Even before this postponement, Delhi University had delayed the exams without informing the High Court, after which the court had seriously reprimanded the varsity. The exams were initially meant to begin on July 1.

The high court was hearing a petition by several final year DU students seeking quashing and withdrawal of the notifications of May 14, May 30 and June 27 on online exams for undergraduate and postgraduate students, including those for the School of Open Learning and Non-Collegiate Women Education Board.

As an alternative prayer, it also sought directions to DU to evaluate the final year students based on the previous years' or semester results in the same manner as the university had planned to promote first and second-year students.

Students and teachers alike have been protesting against the decision to hold online OBEs, saying it would severely disadvantage students without the means to access the technology. Moreover, the slew of technical glitches faced by students during the mock OBEs had revealed that the varsity might not be prepared to hold the final exams through this infrastructure. The DUTA had called the mock tests a "mockery" and student protests had intensified.

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