Centre to set up central university for disabled students: Javadekar

Disabled students

Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday the Centre will set up a central university for students with a disability.

“We will try to establish one central university that will not only cater quality higher education but will also facilitate divyang students to get jobs so that they may contribute to the mainstream society,” Javadekar said at the third convocation of Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University in Lucknow.

Javadekar said the Union government is sensitive towards the interest of disabled students and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that such students should be addressed as divyang. The PM has also ordered to set up ramps and elevators in educational institutions so to make it barrier-free for disabled children, he added.

The Union minister appreciated the inclusive education policy followed by Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University where both disabled and normal students study under one roof. “It is not only beneficial for special students but normal students also get to learn many things from specially-abled students,” he said.

Javadekar said he was pleased to see that the university has done away with the western academic gown and has replaced it with indigenous attire for convocation. The university’s decision to name its auditorium after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also lauded by the HRD minister.

He also assured to financial assistance to the university for installing a Braille Press for printing books and study material for the benefit of visually impaired students not only for this university but also for students of other universities.

Governor Ram Naik on a lighter note asked the boys to gear up because out of 53 medals that were distributed among 37 students, 28 were girls and 9 boys. He said 76% medals were won by girls and it is time for boys to gear up.

Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University established by the Uttar Pradesh government’s Viklang Kalyaan Vibhaag came up through an ordinance dated August 29, 2008. It is the first university of its kind that also provides accessible and quality higher education to disabled students, in a completely barrier-free environment.

“We are unique, much different from others. Our mandate is primarily to serve the differently-abled segment of the society for which a horizontal reservation of 50% seats in all courses of the university has been provided, in addition to the normal reservation policy,” vice-chancellor NK Rai said in his address.