DU exams: HC seeks clarity on arrangements of scribes for visually impaired students

Expressing unhappiness with Delhi University’s preparation for Open Book Examination (OBE), the Delhi High Court on Thursday sought clarity from the varsity on arrangements of scribes for visually impaired students.

“Things are murky. Even now you have not shown us data to satisfy us. Nothing before us has impressed us, especially for visually impaired students,” a division bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad said.

The High Court also asked the DU to prepare the tabulated data for the two phases of the mock tests separately and listed the matter for further hearing on August 4.

Representing the varsity, senior advocate Sachin Dutta said that everything will become clear by August 4 and informed the court that the data submitted before it on a mock test, is only for the first two days and not for the entire first phase.

The court sought to know when the second phase of the mock test will end, to which Delhi University’s counsel and advocate M Rupal responded saying it will end on August 4.

Senior advocate SK Rungta, appearing for the National Federation of Blind, said that the visually impaired students did not know where the common service centre demanded scribes. He submitted there are around 180 visually challenged students, who need writers, reading material, assistive device but they did not get any response.

The court noted that out of 647 persons with disabilities students, only 486 logged in and out for the mock test and that of the 182 visually impaired students only 50 per cent logged in and even lesser uploaded the answers.

The court questioned the varsity about the condition of those visually impaired students, who are in remote areas and do not have access to the internet and noted that there was a complete mismatch on the statement given by different authorities.

Dutta, on the other hand, said that OBE is optional and these students can sit for physical examination and added that DU will do best to arrange a scribe on request. The court said that it is not able to find out whether to go ahead with OBE for visually impaired students.

The court also noted that out of a total of 2.4 thousand students who filled the form, only 1.82 thousand registered them in the portal and only 74,180 students participated in the first phase of the mock test.

The court was hearing various petitions related to Delhi University’s final term examination, including one filed by Prateek Sharma and another by the National Federation of the Blind.

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