Delhi University to start online classes on November 22

While the varsity allowed final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students to return to campus for practical and laboratory work in September, regular classes for students are unlikely to begin any time soon as another semester kicks off in the online mode
DU officials said that the semester will start in the online mode, to begin with. Both teachers and students have expressed concerns over the delay in the resumption of regular classes. (HT File)
DU officials said that the semester will start in the online mode, to begin with. Both teachers and students have expressed concerns over the delay in the resumption of regular classes. (HT File)
Published on Nov 11, 2021 12:23 AM IST
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BySadia Akhar

Another batch of incoming students at Delhi University (DU) will start classes away from the campus as online classes begin on November 22. In-person classes at DU colleges remain suspended since March last year when the university was closed after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the varsity allowed final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students to return to campus for practical and laboratory work in September, regular classes for students are unlikely to begin any time soon as another semester kicks off in the online mode.

DU officials said that the semester will start in the online mode, to begin with. Both teachers and students have expressed concerns over the delay in the resumption of regular classes.

Manoj Sinha, the secretary of the DU principals’ association and head of Aryabhatta College, said that the university was in a dilemma regarding the resumption of physical classes since a vast number of outstation students comprised the student population at DU. Sinha said that the university and colleges would need to figure out the modalities of the resumption of hostel facilities and other preparations.

“Around 50% of DU’s strength includes students who are not from Delhi. The university and colleges need to make up their mind and accordingly set up facilities. Other preparations also need to be done before students can be called to the campus. We are currently undertaking a survey to seek details about the vaccination status of students in the second and third year,” said Sinha.

He said that admissions for incoming students were currently taking place and it would be too early for colleges to ascertain their vaccination details, due to which in-person classes for students starting college on November 22 was not on the cards. “It’s possible that some students among the incoming batch will be below the age of 18. That is an area of concern. We can’t call them for classes in such a situation. The university is looking for solutions and hopefully by January things will be clearer,” said Sinha.

He also said that the academic schedule had been prepared while keeping in mind that the semester was already delayed and it was necessary to initiate classes as soon as possible. Management of logistics and other facilities would take time, due to which classes would kick off in the online mode.

Incoming students, however, said that an online semester would restrict them from experiencing the university experience. Sanjay (who goes by his first name), who will be pursuing his bachelors degree in political science from Ramanujan College, said that while he preferred in-person classes over online ones, there was little that students could do. “There can never be a replacement for physical classes. I hope regular classes can resume at the earliest so that we can get a taste of the campus life,” he said.

Abha Dev Habib, who teaches physics at Miranda House, said that the university needed to issue a schedule outlining the time when physical classes for different semester students were likely to resume. “Now, the university should produce a schedule outlining resumption of in-person classes. It should bring back the third-year students first, which is the weakest batch. In order of priority, second-year and first-year students should also be called back to the university,” said Habib.

She said that while first semester students could be called to campus by March next year, it was necessary for the university to prepare them for the possibility of physical exams in March so that there is an initiation of the routine cycle in some way. As per the academic calendar shared by the university, exams for the first semester students will take place in March but there is no clarity on the mode of examinations. For students that are currently studying in the second and third year, the online open book examination is scheduled from November end.

A number of student groups and organisations such as AISA, KYS, SFI among others are currently holding an indefinite strike seeking a reopening of the university for the past three days. Students said that the strike will continue till the admission issues a notification outlining the reopening.

DU declares ECA merit list

Delhi University on Wednesday declared the centralised merit list of eligible candidates for admission to undergraduate courses under the ECA category. Like last year, the university did not hold sports and ECA trials this year. The list of eligible candidates as per the centralized ECA merit list is available on the university’s admission portal and eligible students can register their preferences for the allotment of course and colleges from Wednesday till Friday this week. Candidates will not get any further chance for registering their preferences for allotment of course and college after Wednesday.

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Monday, January 24, 2022