Scores of Delhi University teachers and students have appealed to the administration to scrap the final semester examinations, which are scheduled to commence on June 7, in light of the deaths of 50 professors and teachers of the varsity and its affiliated colleges due to the coronavirus.
Delhi University on May 20 postponed semester exams for final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students for the second time and announced that these will now commence on June 7.
The exams, which will now be held in the open-book format online, were earlier scheduled to start from May 15 but were postponed to June 1 owing to the spike in Covid cases.
The varsity students have said that they will also appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the scrapping the final semester examinations. Earlier, they had written to the Ministry of Education and the DU administration seeking postponement of the final year examinations amid the raging Covid cases.
According to Delhi Teachers' Association (DTA), an organisation of Delhi University academics, those professors who had succumbed to Covid include Vinay Gupta (Physics department), Veena Kukreja (Political Science department), Prateek Chaudhary (Music department) and SK Gupta (Faculty of Law).
Among the retired teachers, who had died of Covid, include Narendra Kohli, Narendra Mohan, K. D. Sharma, Bhikshu Satyapal, S.S. Rana, Debu Chaudhary, Ramesh Upadhyay and former Principal of Rajdhani College, B. S. Yadav.
Hansraj Suman, DTA in-charge, claimed that DU has the largest chunk of teachers to have succumbed to the deadly virus.
He said that out of the 50 fatalities, 28 were permanent teachers, 16 retired teachers and four ad hoc, teachers.
Suman added that the lives of several teachers could have been saved if the hospitals and healthcare facilities would have been made available to them ahead of the intense wave of Covid-19 that struck in February-March this year.
He said that the way people have endured unprecedented circumstances between April 20 and May 7, students and teachers are not mentally competent to appear and conduct examinations immediately following the danger posed by the Covid-19 infection. In such circumstances, the examination should be postponed till July.
On the other hand, DU's Dean of Examination, D.S. Rawat told IANS that the exams for final year students would start from June 7. Earlier, the examinations of the final year students were slated for June 1, but now the examination will be conducted in the open-book format online.
Chandra Mani Dev, President of Delhi University student organization, Chatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS), has also demanded immediate suspension of exams.
He said while a large number of teachers have died due to Covid, on the other hand, there are still hundreds of students who have tested positive for the virus. Many students hail from native places outside Delhi where they don't even have an internet facility. Therefore, it is not fair to conduct these exams right now.