With just a day left for the Delhi University admission registration process to end, students with disabilities ranging from autism and dyslexia to thalassemia and haemophilia are in a fix. While Delhi University requires a certificate from a government hospital stating that an applicant suffers from a disability, the Delhi government is yet to notify rules of the Disability Act 2016. In the absence of notified rules, which recognise these conditions as disabilities, hospitals can’t issue certificates to aspirants.
“I don’t know what to do because government hospitals have refused to issue a certificate confirming autism. While filling the registration form, uploading the disability certificate is a must,” said Sucheta Singh, whose daughter scored 85% in the humanities stream.
An official at the Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) at DU confirmed that they have received several queries regarding the issue. “We don’t want students to lose a chance to apply so we have added a clause that even if they submit prescription of the medication and therapies, we will accept the form,” said Bipin Tewari, officer on special duty, EOC.
This, however, is a makeshift arrangement as once the admission begins on June 19, the certificate will become mandatory. DU reserves 5% seats for people with disabilities.
Till 2017, before the new Act was notified, the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) was authorised to issue certificates for those with dyslexia. The certificate was accepted by both DU and CBSE.
Once the 2016 Act was notified in January this year, the rule said a dyslexia certificate needs to be issued by a medical board comprising paediatrics and clinical psychologists. IHBAS can no longer issue these certificates.
“We are just following the rules. I knew this problem would come up and wrote to the disability commissioner and the social welfare and health department of the Delhi government earlier this year. They could not come up with an administrative solution. I am deeply pained to see students suffering,” said Nimesh G Desai, director, IBHAS.
Delhi government’s minister for social welfare Rajendra Pal Gautam said the rules will be notified by the end of July and the draft has already been put up seeking comments from the public. The comments have to be sent by June 22 following which we will take it up with the L-G. By then, however, it will be too late for DU aspirants to get admission.
“My hands are tied, I have to follow procedure. Had it been in my hands, I would have notified it tomorrow itself. Right now I cannot do anything,” Gautam told The Indian Express.