Open Book Exam is a shut case

Covid-19 has forced the educational institutions to shut down. There is a big confusion regarding the conduct of exams. The University of Delhi proposed the online Open Book Exam (OBE) for ten days for safety concerns due to the prevailing condition of Covid-19 epidemic. As usual, this has created more confusion and controversy about the feasibility of the exams.
Postponement of the Exam
The University was planning to conduct the for its final year or semester exams from July 10 has been postponed till the August. So, a question arises how feasible and good to conduct the Open Book Exam? This is not a workable solution. The exams are conducted to evaluate the critical thinking, knowledge, theoretical understanding and analytical skills of a learner. But the OBE fails here on these parameters. Although, IIT Indore has conducted online OBE exam of 263 students, including some international students. The authorities’ claim that this was done to de-stress the students as delaying the exams would have jeopardized their placements.
However, University of Delhi is not IIT Indore where students are in lakhs. OBE cannot be an ideal solution in the case of DU. Moreover, the IIT system and students and teachers are expert in Technology Enabled Evaluation (TEE), for the delivery of question papers and receiving the written answer sheets.
Aligarh Muslim University also has this option in consideration, since it feels the conduct of normal off-line exam is almost impossible. They also claim to ease the burden and pandemic related stress.
As usual, most of the students complain about the dearth of study material, the problem of internet connectivity and other technical glitches. In India, students are pampered badly and now they are used to of spoon-feeding. They are almost crippled.
However, fair and rigorous exams are essential and crucial to pass. The universities and boards should conduct off-line exams in parts on the campuses. In August, exams can be conducted. In the first week, Post Graduate, Honors exams can be conducted, in three shifts a day where students are in less number. In the second week Under Graduate (B.A.), in the third week Under Graduate science (B.Sc.) and the fourth week, Under Graduate commerce (B.Com.) exams can be conducted. Several universities conduct exams in three shifts per day.
Every year students spent and drop for several years preparing for different competitions for professional courses and civil services. If they lose a few months owning to Covid-19, pandemic, it will not make much difference in their career. Moreover, the standard in India is already very poor. A few years back in its report, the word bank commented that almost 90% of Indian graduates are unemployable. Infosys chairman Shri Narayan Murthy also holds the same view. He found the situation a little better and found 75% of Indian graduates are unemployable.
So, if Open Book Exam should not be held. It will further deteriorate the academic standard of the students. Another aspect is this that more than 50% of the students are non-serious students. For them, a few months of delay in exams make no difference.

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