70% spike in disability quota applications
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 |