Special petition in Supreme Court for visually impaired

'Reading material for the blind hasn't been prepared'

Delhi University's (DU) group of students and teachers, working for the disabled people, have filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court after its Public Interest Litigation which asked for a stay on the four year undergraduate programme citing issues for vision impaired students under the new structure was refused by the high court.

“The major bone of contention was the starting compulsory foundation courses on science and maths in absence of any reading material in accessible form,” said a member of the group.

According to the member, on May 8, Delhi High Court had asked DU to file a report in a week’s time about the arrangements for vision impaired students.

“However, instead of filing a report, on May 15, the advocate appearing for DU produced in the court a notification dated May 14 regarding constituting an Empowered Committee for making suitable modification in the curricula, mode of instruction and assessment, keeping in mind the special needs of the students with disabilities,” said the member.

Although the court expressed its concern towards DU’s failure to address genuine issues while framing the new structure and courses, it allowed the varsity to go ahead with the implementation, the member added.

The court further directed the empowered committee to submit a report to the varsity's vice chancellor by June 7 for him to take a decision by June 15. DU was also asked to file an action taken report by July 3.

“Once the admission process commences and provisions for vision impaired students have not been made, it would become impossible for the varsity to revert to the three years degree programme. Since reversal by that time would become difficult, the writ petition filed before the High Court will become irrelevant,” said the member.

The members also cited University Grants Commission's guidelines for formulating new courses, which state that varsities have to set new syllabi six months in advance.

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