AIIMS focuses on students with special needs,ropes in NGO

Weeks after a first-year MBBS student from a reserved category allegedly hanged himself inside his hostel room at AIIMS,the institute has roped in a Kerala-based organisation to help design curriculum in favour of special needs students.

Written by Pritha Chatterjee | New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2012 1:41:50 am

Weeks after a first-year MBBS student from a reserved category allegedly hanged himself inside his hostel room at AIIMS,the institute has roped in a Kerala-based organisation to help design curriculum in favour of special needs students.

Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation (CREST) also runs orientation programmes for students “with special needs” in IIT-Delhi.

It will now be holding a two-day interactive session to help design a similar curriculum at AIIMS.

“The institute approached us to interact with students,faculty members and the administrative staff. Our trainers reached on Monday evening,and they started the sessions from Tuesday,” Prof D D Nampoothiri,executive director of CREST,told Newsline.

Representatives of the NGO,started by alumni of IIM-Kozhikode,met administrative officials and representatives of the under-graduate students union,over two sessions.

Dr Nampoothiri said the discussions are at “a preliminary stage,and nothing has been finalised yet”.

Professor Ritu Priya Mehrotra,professor at the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at JNU,who participated in the session,said,“Things are at a preliminary stage. We held two meetings today. For now we are trying to understand the situation here.”

A senior official from the academic session of the institute confirmed plans to design an orientation programme for “those who face problems in coping up,to ensure no student is forced to commit suicide”.

“We are not trying to isolate students from backward castes — it will be a programme designed to help students,who face language problems,have poor communication skills,

and cannot adjust to the volume of the curriculum,” the official said.

An official notification was issued to faculty members of pre-clinical departments — Anatomy,Physiology and Biochemistry — that are taught in first-year MBBS to attend the meetings.

At a meeting convened by institute director Dr R C Deka,with faculty members of all these departments,the possibility of preparing transcripts of lectures of the first-year syllabus in Hindi was also discussed.

“We are discussing different options,and this is one solution which is being worked upon,” the AIIMS official said.

After the suicides of two under-graduate students from reserved categories over the last two years,students had raised questions over AIIMS entrance examination being conducted in a bilingual format (Hindi and English),but classes and examinations in English only.

Members of the students’ union who attended the introductory session said the instructors elaborated on developing an orientation for students from backward castes. “They inquired about the special problems faced by such students,” said Tungish Bansal,president of the students’ union.

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