Education August 6, 2020
Delhi University must provide scribes to visually impaired students for online exams, says court
Some relief for visually impaired final year undergraduate students of Delhi University after the Delhi High Court directed university authorities to provide writers or scribes at common service centres (CSCs) for online Open Book Examinations (OBE).
The Delhi High Court has intervened on behalf of visually impaired students in their final year of graduation in the Delhi University (DU). IN an order, the court has said that the university must provide writers or scribes to these students at the common service centres (CSC) for the Open Book Examination (OBE) for those who have opted for them.
The court added that no student will be deprived of a scribe at the CSC if the DU has been informed in advance. The CSCs have been set up for those students who do not have infrastructure to appear for the OBE.
Next hearing on 17 August
The DU also has to provide at least two reading materials or text books of each paper to the visually impaired candidates. They must be given one week’s time to make the request to the DU. Senior advocate S K Rungta, who appeared for the National Federation of the Blind, said that he would provide assistive devices to the visually impaired students.
The DU will have to give provisional admission to students in postgraduate courses, provided they clear the entrance exam. The matter will now be heard on 17 August.
Final year undergraduate online OBE are to held from 10-31 August. Students left out of online exams will be given an opportunity to appear in physical examinations. These are likely to be held in September.
DU pulled up for lack of facilities
The court order came in response to a plea by law student Prateek Sharma and National Federation of Blind which is seeking an effective mechanisms for visually impaired and other disabled students. During the hearing a DU professor Sachin Dutta has said that visually impaired students should get reading materials converted on their own. Dutta said that the DU merely prescribed books.
To this the bench said, “You never had OBE also. There has never been a pandemic like this in the world. This surely answers you. If you point one finger on them, four fingers will be pointed at you.”
The court also pulled up the DU for its lack of preparedness and facilities, including arrangement of scribes and CSE Centers, for disabled students to enable them to appear in the online OBE.
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