DU OBE: Technical snags and missing question papers on first day

DU OBE: Technical snags and missing question papers on first day
R. Radhika | Aug 10, 2020 - 2:21 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Technical glitches, registration snags, power cut delays and difficulty in uploading answer sheets plagued the first day of Delhi University’s online open-book exam or OBE, on Monday.

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Many students appearing for an early exam were surprised as the DU portal showed “ no exams scheduled for August 10”. One student emailed all her answers to DU because her screen went blank at the time of uploading; several others had to email to ask for question papers. Other students struggled to complete the exam within the stipulated time duration.

Those who managed to submit the answer sheets complained about not receiving a confirmation mail. Despite the popular rejection, the university is conducting online OBE as a one-time measure for students due to the coronavirus pandemic. The exams are being conducted after the Delhi High Court’s approval.

Ironically, the Supreme Court heard the plea challenging the University Grants Commission guidelines mandating university exams for final-year students by the end of Septemeber, on Monday. The matter has been postponed to be heard on August 14.

DU OBE glitches

Several students expressed their bitter experience of the online exam on the social media platform.

“Most of the students took 3-3.5 hours to write the exam, it was that [long]. Whereas DU said that the question papers are made according to 2 hours. Wow! Many didn't get the confirmation mail as well. Such anxiety-driven, discriminatory and forceful exams. Slow claps DU. Shame.” wrote one student on twitter.

Students also criticised the decision of DU for causing stress and exacerbating mental health problems amid an ongoing pandemic.

“Mental health has always been an underrated topic. [I] just finished my OBE paper and struggled with internet issues and power cuts. In a pandemic where anxiety is already high, it went haywire thanks to this exam and had a panic attack. Thanks, DU. Will never forget” wrote another student.

DU OBE time duration

Many also complained about the timing mentioned in the question paper. The OBE, as per the official guidelines, is a three-hour exam. The students who logged in to write the paper were surprised to see a two-hour duration.

The confusion over the duration and a lengthy paper added to the problems of already anxious students.

“I was about to upload my answer sheets when my screen went blank; the time to upload the answer sheets was over,” a B.Sc student told Careers360. “I was terrified, so I have emailed all my answers to the central email ID of DU” she added.

Unable to access the questions even after the commencement of the exam, students had to email DU exam authority to email the questions. “The paper just isn't showing up on the portal so it's so pointless even having a portal if you're just going to have to mail everything. I didn't expect much but this is still shocking to see,” the student wrote on Twitter. Another student received the questions just half-hour before the exam concluded.

Apparently, some B.A program students were able to access the question paper hours before the exam. "The paper was to start at 3.30 but many [were able to] downloaded it from 11 AM. The downloads link is working but the upload link stands deactivated," wrote one student to his teacher. The student also said that the university exam branch numbers were unreachable.

The university had also conducted two phases of online mock exams to familiarise the students with OBE. The university will also conduct a second opportunity for students who are unable to appear for the OBE in August. “The examinations will be conducted after about two weeks from the date of conclusion of the examination in OBE mode remotely,” an official notice said.

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