Granting interim relief to a student with a learning disability who is seeking admission to a post-graduate course at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),Bombay High Court Monday asked the institute to consider her case for admission. IIT had contended that a candidate with learning disability cannot be granted admission under the physically disabled (PD) category according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD).
While the case is pending,the student has been allowed to attend the Master of Design course that commenced last month.
Chembur-resident Naman Verma contended that on November 25,2011,she filled an online form seeking admission to the course in the general category,as the category physically disabled (PD) did not mention learning disability. The admission process consisted of part A and part B. Verma scored 50 per cent marks in part A. While the eligibility cut off in the general category was 62 per cent,it was 32 per cent in the PD category.
The candidates had 10 days to point out discrepancies in their results and hence,she questioned why learning disability like dyscalculia,that Verma suffers from,was not included in the PD category. Dyscalculia is a learning disability to comprehend arithmatic,and to undertand and manipulate numbers.
After Verma submitted a request and a learning disability certificate from KEM hospital on January 4,IIT asked her to fill a fresh form under the PD category.
However,Vermas petition states that Industrial Design Centre (IDC) of IIT informed Vermas mother that the disability guidelines of MHRD recognised only physical disability (locomotor and cerebral palsy),as well as visual,hearing and speech impairment,in the PD category. Vermas lawyer Ratan Kumar Samal,in a letter dated February 13,opined that learning disability would come under the ambit of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities,Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act,1995,and would be covered under mental illness or retardation.
Vermas petition states that in reply to Samals letter,G G Ray,head of the IDC,replied that Verma could not qualify as she had applied in the general category and learning disability cannot be considered physical disability.
Vermas petition states that the Symbiosis International University in Pune,where Verma completed her undergraduate studies,had given her the minimum pass percentage in the subject introduction to product costing,owing to her learning disability.
IIT,however,told the court that Verma had missed the bus. She applied in the PD category only because she could not have secured admission in the general category,it said. The court was also told that she would have to go through another round of written test and interview in Part B of the admission procedure.
The court has asked IIT to carry out the final admission procedure and adjourned the case for three weeks. Verma has been asked to deposit the fees for the first semester and attend classes.