Online tests for admission to DU masters and research courses. – SFI Statement

Why this is not a good idea and Why SFI opposes it?

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DU administration has decided to conduct online admission tests for admission to masters and research courses from this year. While earlier the tests used to be organized only in Delhi, they were held in 5 centres last year. Here, are the reasons why we oppose this decision to go completely online:

• In the new format all the tests will be objective. We have already seen how the new format of UGC-NET (completely objective) fails to properly assess the academic abilities of the students, particularly in the humanities and social sciences.

• Students from rural backgrounds and from poor & working class families will be at disadvantage in the new system. Administration is claiming that ‘free training programme’ will be offered at each of the centre to ensure that this doesn’t become a factor. However, there is no clarity on the mode and method of this. Sources suggest that it seems unlikely that such ‘facilitation centres’ will be operational in all the test centres.

• Entire examination process is being outsourced to private players, with tenders been issued on 5th April. While this is a clear move towards privatization of the examination process, it also questions the transparency and accountability of the process.

• It is been claimed that online mode will bring transparency. Nothing can be absurd than this, given the fact that just a few days ago websites of many central universities were hacked, including that of DU.

• There is absolutely no clarity on the number of centres or the number of places where the ‘free training programme’ will be offered. While one month ago, it was claimed that tests will be held in 18 centres; now the number has come down to just 12. The admission committee is so ill prepared that is not in a position to give any information about the schedule of the entrances. In fact, the last date for filing the tender is 26th April. This means that there are no chances of the admission process to start before the first week of May.

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