Have set up panel to look at problems of disabled students,DU tells HC

During hearing bench questions DU on the ‘hurry’ to implement four-year programme.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: May 16, 2013 1:21:53 am

During hearing bench questions DU on the ‘hurry’ to implement four-year programme.

Responding to a plea filed by an organisation regarding possible problems that visually challenged students would face under the new four-year undergraduate programme,the Delhi University on Wednesday told the Delhi High court that it had set up an “empowered committee” to look into students’ grievances.

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath accepted university’s submission and directed the committee to consider the grievances raised by the petitioner.

The NGO Sambhavana had filed a PIL before the court claiming that the university had not taken into consideration persons with vision impairment,who are exempted from studying maths and science at school level.

The plea said,given the exemption at school level,such students would not be able to meet the requirements of the foundation courses in the first year of DU.

Advocate V P Singh,appearing for DU,told the court that the empowered committee includes visually challenged members of university faculty. The committee was set up on May 14 “to look into the modification to the curricula and other issues regarding the special needs of the students”.

“In view of the submissions made by the counsel for Delhi University,the petitioner is given liberty to put forth all his grievances in writing to the said committee….” the court said.

The court has directed the committee to look into students’ grievances by June 7,and forward the report to DU Vice-Chancellor. The V-C is expected to submit the report on the decisions taken by June 15.

The court had initially given the university time till July 3,but modified its order after the petitioner claimed that the delay would be “detrimental” to the students since the admission process would have begun by then.

Pankaj Sinha,advocate for the NGO,also requested the court to issue a stay order on DU’s admission process till the grievances of the students had been addressed. “The visually challenged students will suffer if the admission process is allowed to happen without modification in the course curriculum,” Sinha said.

The court dismissed the argument,saying the committee had been created to look into the issues and the court could not interfere. “We are not experts,we cannot direct the university to create a particular curriculum,” Chief Justice Murugesan said.

But the court did ask the university the counsel to explain the “hurry” behind the implementation of the four-year system. “We also read the newspapers. There is a lot of resentment against the new policy. What discussions were done before you started this?” the bench asked during arguments.

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