After noting that only 8% of the total students who have registered for online exams could actually complete the first mock test, Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi University to submit the complete data from both the phases of the mock tests to satisfy the court of its preparedness.
A Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has further directed the University to clear its position on providing scribes to the visually impaired students.
Today, the Delhi University informed the court about the number of students who could actually complete the online examination process during the first phase of mock tests.
On the issue of providing scribes to visually impaired students, the Common Service Centre Academy informed the court that it is not responsible for providing scribes to the visually impaired students and the same has to be taken care of by the Delhi University.
This information was in contradiction to the statement made by the Delhi University in the last hearing wherein it was stated that the Common Service Centres will be providing scribes to the visually impaired students two days prior to the actual date of the examination.
When confronted with this contradiction, the University submitted that the scribes cannot be asked to go to the homes of the candidates, however, they will ask the CSCs to facilitate scribes at their centres.
Miffed by this confusion, the court remarked:
‘When you were not sure about the stance of the CSCs, then why did you put this provision in your guidelines. Students can’t be subjected to the torture of your contractual obligations.’
CSC Academy further informed the court that it has no information on how many students have asked for their services and how many of such students come from remote areas.
The information on how many students from remote areas have asked for the services of the CSCs could also not be provided by the Delhi University.
In addition to this, the National Federation of Blind informed the court that around 189 students have sent mails to the Delhi University seeking reading materials, scribes and assisting devices, however, they’ve not received any response from the University.
When confronted with multiple questions from the court regarding its preparedness to ensure equitable access to visually impaired students to the online exams, the Delhi University submitted that such students will always have an option of taking the physical exams later.
At this point, the court told the Delhi University that it can’t take away the choice from visually impaired students. The court said:
‘Your exercise is foreclosing the right of PwD students to have equal access to online exams. We can’t let you do that. We can’t let you force PwD students to take physical exams.’
In light of this, the court has directed the Delhi University to clear its position on providing scribes to visually impaired students by the next date of hearing.
‘It is your (DU) responsibility to ensure scribes to the visually impaired students’, the court said.
The matter will next be taken up on August 04.