When Narola Dhar, a final-year MA computer science student at Delhi University booked her tickets to Shillong in June, she assumed her exams would be over before she returned home. Now, she finds herself in a 28-day institutional quarantine, which ends on August 17, a day before her first online open book exam.

Without a stable Internet connection, a functional laptop and a phone with a clear camera, Ms. Dhar is anxious about attempting her exam. At the best, she is able to send blurred images of her notes, the only study material she was able to carry with her on WhatsApp over a patchy connection.

“I broke down when everyone started talking about the exam on our WhatsApp group after the High Court order,” said Ms. Dhar, who reached out to a friend to calm her nerves, while she was alone in the middle of her quarantine on August 7.

Given her situation, she has not been able to take part in the mock tests that the university held. “I just hope I’ll be able to fix something by Sunday so that I don’t miserably fail in the OBE,” she said.

No centre nearby

Attempts to reach out to her local Common Service Centre, which Delhi University had tied up with, to assist students with poor connections, had also been futile as she couldn’t locate a nearby centre.

Ms. Dhar tried to convey her issues to her department and university officials but had not received a response, and wasn’t able to get through the helpline number, she said.

Pressure to vacate

A resident of the Northeast Women’s Hostel, she along with some other students had initially been granted extensions on their stay, here.

However hostel administration had continued to put pressure on them to vacate, she alleged, which forced her to leave.

“I wanted to stay but the situation pushed me to go,” she said.

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