The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Common Service Centre Academy to give information on the number of students who have requested to avail the services of common service centres (CSC) to take their online Open Book Exams.
The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad has further directed the CSC Academy to state in an affidavit as to how many students who have requested for availing the services of CSCs come from the remote areas, and how many are from the metropolitan cities.
The order has come in a plea moved by Prateek Sharma seeking a direction to be issued to the Delhi University to provide adequate reading materials, scribes and assistive kits to the students in the Persons with Disability (PwD) category.
The court was hearing this matter along with another petition moved by the National Federation of Blind seeking similar relief for the visually impaired students.
In both of these petitions, the decision of the Delhi University to conduct an online OBE has been cited as discriminatory towards PwD category students.
In the last hearing, the court had directed the Delhi University to submit an affidavit stating the timeline for conducting the physical exams for remaining students as well as for declaring the results of online OBE.
However, the Delhi University could not submit the said affidavit today and sought more time for filing the same.
Pulling up the University for causing such delays, the court said:
'Why aren't you taking cognizance of the fact that the careers of so many students are at stake.'
The court had also directed the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Ministry of Electronics & IT to submit affidavits on the preparedness of the CSCs across the country to conduct the online OBE.
While these affidavits were submitted by the concerned Ministries, they could not inform the court about the number of students who have requested to avail the services of CSCs for taking their exams.
At this point, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal informed the court that the number of functional CSCs has further plummeted in the month of June.
Mr Sibal further submitted that many gram panchayats do not even have the CSCs.
Therefore, the court considered it imperative to ascertain the number of students who are willing to approach the CSCs and how many of these students come from the rural areas.
In light of this, the CEO of the CSC Academy is directed to inform the court whether the scribes would be made available to the students two days prior to taking the exams so that the students can judge the competence of their respective scribes.