New Delhi: The Delhi University’s School of Open Learning abruptly announced the cancellation of Saturday’s examination for the first-year BA and B.Com programmes while students were writing the paper and asked them to hand in their answer sheets.
The SOL examination scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled as well but the rest of the date-sheet remains the same, university officials said, adding the dates for these two subjects would be notified soon.
Saturday was the first day of the examination for the students of the two programmes and it was supposed to be conducted in two shifts – morning and evening. A senior university official said due to an ”error”, all students had been assigned the morning shift, which is why the examination had to be cancelled.
Soon after the examination was cancelled, a notice of cancellation was put up outside the gates of the centres.
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Sangeeta, a first-year BA student, said she reached her designated centre on time and the examination began normally, but a few minutes later, students were informed about the cancellation.
”My examination centre was Miranda House. I reached on time, checked my seat and sat down. We filled up our details and question papers were distributed. We were given the allotted time to read the question paper,” she said.
”The answer sheets were distributed and as I picked up my pen, the invigilator told us that the exam has been cancelled. We were not given any reason,” she claimed.
Sangeeta said hundreds of students had gathered outside the centre, demanding answers. They found a notice pasted on the main gate of the college which read, ”As per information received from the Examination Branch today SOL papers for morning and evening sessions have been cancelled. Next date of examination will be informed later on.” The university official said the examination for both Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled.
”The students will be issued new roll numbers. It was a goof-up by SOL. We are looking into it. We are determining whether it was a human error or that of a computer,” Registrar Vikas Gupta told PTI.
”We will notify the next date for the examination of these two subjects. The rest of the date-sheet is the same,” he added.
In a message issued by the Delhi University, its assistant registrar said the exam was cancelled ”due to unavoidable circumstances”.
”The next date of these examinations will be announced later,” it read.
Shivani, whose examination centre was DU’s Atma Ram Sanatan College, accused the administration of negligence. ”They should have told us at least a day earlier. So many students have come here from far-away places. They were told at the last minute,” she said.
Student group Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) condemned the mismanagement and incompetence which led to the cancellation of the examinations. Its activists, along with students of the SOL, held a protest demonstration at the SOL building.
The students later organised a rally to the Arts Faculty, gate number 4 and submitted a memorandum addressed to the DU vice-chancellor.
”This exposes the sheer mismanagement and chaos which has become the hallmark of SOL and DU administrations that are least concerned about the future of lakhs of students who study in SOL,” the KYS said in a statement.