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DU exam chaos continues on Day 5

For the fifth day in a row, the examination process of Delhi University (DU) failed to remain glitch-free. Shaswati Das reports.

delhi Updated: May 12, 2012 00:06 IST
Shaswati Das
Shaswati Das
Hindustan Times

For the fifth day in a row, the examination process of Delhi University (DU) failed to remain glitch-free.

On Friday, several question papers, such as Principles of Economics and Applied Zoology, arrived 45 minutes late at a few exam centres. Professors say that this breakdown in the examination process can be attributed to several factors.

Increased number of students
When the semester system was rolled out in July 2011, the university conducted the first round of semester exams for first year students and science students of the previous batches in December. This meant that close to 65,000 students appeared for those exams.
For the second semester exams, the total number of students who took the exams went up to 1.6 lakh as all the students — across all three years and all courses — appeared for the exams. Now that exams are held twice a year, teachers say the university is buckling under pressure.

Admin-academic disconnect
Many say the chasm between administrative members, such as the vice-chancellor and the deans, and the academic departments is growing.
"There is a disconnect between academics and the administration. This wasn't the case in the past. It is the job of the exam branch to assist the teachers. A lot of deans in the exam branch have been changed over the last one-and-a-half years. Till this is sorted, problems will persist," said Sanam Khanna, professor, Kamla Nehru College.
While the V-C had blamed the departments for the fiasco, teachers say it was the responsibility of the exam branch to not just reschedule the paper, but also ensure that the paper was as per the prescribed text.
"Students would have suffered less had Monday's exam been rescheduled for a later date. But instead, we were blamed for incorrectly setting the paper,” said Khanna.
Professors say continued delay in the conduct of exams every day is also because the exam branch is unaware of the exact number of papers that need to be supplied to colleges as it is not in touch with the respective departments.

A large number of teaching and non-teaching positions lying vacant is also to blame for the fiasco, most teachers believe. They say fewer number of non-teaching staff has put increased pressure on the exam branch and hence the malfunctioning.
"There are 4,000 vacant positions and very few permanent faculty members. For a
system as large as this, the large number of students has put added pressure," said Abha Dev Habib, professor at
Miranda House.

First Published: May 12, 2012 00:03 IST