The first day of Delhi University’s online mock open book examinations (OBE) saw hundreds of students complain about the website crashing, and difficulties in registration, uploading of documents and answers, and incorrect question papers.

With the prevailing COVID-19 outbreak, the university had announced online OBE for terminal year students amid strong reservations from students and teachers.

The exams were supposed to begin from July 1 but were postponed to July 10 by DU citing rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city. In the meantime, the university had decided to conduct mock tests.

On Saturday, several students complained of the website crashing around afternoon and that papers of all subjects had not been uploaded. “Needless to say, the online mock exams have been a disaster. The website crashed, student details were missing and there were incorrect papers. Then DU claimed that this is just for us to understand the procedure, but when our paper pattern and question type has been changed, how can this be a mock test,” asked a student of Gargi College.

Students also said that the file size limit of answer sheets was 5 MB and that there were difficulties in uploading them.

Delhi University officials, however, maintained that the website was functional throughout the day and that as of Saturday evening around 7,000 regular students and 9,000 School of Open Learning students were logged into the system.

‘For practice only’

DU spokesperson Sanjeev Singh said, “The papers are for practising only and not necessarily related to respective subjects. It is just to allow students to get used to the portal. As for students who were unable to log in, it was because of incorrect details entered by them.”

“In cases where students have entered an incorrect email ID or phone number, they will not receive the One-Time Password. Sometimes by mistake a space gets added, which then becomes a part of the password. We have received mails from many students seeking a change in the details entered by them,” Mr. Singh said.

Stating that students were being subjected to undue anxiety and stress, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) reiterated its demand to scrap the OBE.

“The mock tests have turned out to be a mockery and DUTA is inundated with panic mails from students who have nowhere to address their queries and get solutions and are turning to their teachers. The association demands immediate scrapping of the OBE and relief to students from unnecessary stress in these already distressing time,” the teachers’ body said.

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