70% spike in dis­abil­ity quota ap­pli­ca­tions

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY | MISSION ADMISSION - Satab­hisa Bhau­mik

New Delhi: Delhi Univer­sity has recorded a 70% rise in ap­pli­ca­tions un­der the per­sons with dis­abil­ity (PwD) cat­e­gory com­pared to last year. This as­sumes sig­nif­i­cance in the light of the pas­sage of the Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties Bill, 2016.

The max­i­mum num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions have come in from can­di­dates with phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity. How­ever, there has been a con­sid­er­able in­ter­est from stu­dents un­der new categories, like in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity and neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions, and even blood dis­or­ders.

Ear­lier, phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity did not in­clude “dwarfism” or acid-at­tack vic­tims and their in­clu­sion has been lauded as “pro­gres­sive” by ac­tivists for the differentl­y abled. Al­though over 1,700 stu­dents have ap­plied, some 1,000 seats may still re­main va­cant. A 5% reser­va­tion for the differentl­y abled is aimed at ben­e­fit­ing over 2,500 stu­dents.

Javed Abidi, founder of the Dis­abil­ity Rights Group and di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Cen­tre for Pro­mo­tion of Em­ploy­ment for Dis­abled Peo­ple, told TOI: “The sig­nif­i­cant rise in the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions is in­deed heart­warm­ing and a step for­ward towards pro­vid­ing equal op­por­tu­nity to the differentl­y abled.” He added: “A higher num­ber of ap­pli­cants may re­sult in new chal­lenges, but in terms of in­fra­struc­ture, there won’t be much prob­lem. Ear­lier, the seats re­served for the differentl­y abled would go va­cant as the am­bit of the cat­e­gory was lim­ited.” DU sees rise in PwD ap­pli­ca­tions in 2017 com­pared to 2016 Fol­low­ing the pas­sage of Rights of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties (pwD) Bill, 14 categories have been added to the list of 7. The new categories in­clude speech and learn­ing dis­abil­ity, blood dis­or­ders as well as acid at­tack vic­tims of the seats are now re­served for PwD categories in DU col­leges ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted this year; last year the count was ap­pli­ca­tions re­ceived ev­ery year be­tween 2010 and 2015

In the last five years, the num­ber of differentl­y abled ap­pli­cants has ranged from 700 to 800 even as over 1,500 seats were re­served for them. This time, over 150 ap­pli­cants have sought ad­mis­sion un­der categories like learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties and blood dis­or­ders, which were not avail­able ear­lier.

Categories of ap­pli­cants this year

| In­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity | Dis­abil­ity due to chronic neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions, blood dis­or­der |

“Staff and fac­ulty mem­bers need to be made aware of the new law, and they should do the need­ful to make stu­dents feel safe in class­rooms. This is es­pe­cially true for stu­dents with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties,” said Bipin Ku­mar Ti­wari, OSD, DU’s Equal Op­por­tu­nity Cell. Ex­plain­ing the higher num­ber of ap­pli­cants un­der the phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity cat­e­gory, Ti­wari said: “This is due to the ex­panded def­i­ni­tion as now phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties in­clude lo­co­mo­tive, vis­ual, hear­ing and lan­guage im­pair­ments,” said Ti­wari.

The differentl­y abled com­mu­nity is hope­ful of bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fu­ture. “We have come a long way from the 90s when stu­dents on wheel­chairs were turned away from col­leges. With a law in place, we can count on the bet­ter im­ple­men­ta­tion,” said Abidi.

Phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity Men­tal dis­abil­ity | Mul­ti­ple dis­abil­i­ties |

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