Efforts afoot to make HP varsity friendly for differently abled

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 8

Efforts are afoot to make Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) a disabled friendly university. A project worth Rs 5 crores to make the campus disable friendly is underway. Ramps are being constructed. One lift has started working in the varsity while seven more are being installed in the first phase. Toilets are being modified to make them user friendly for disabled students

One supernumerary seat in M Phil and PhD has been earmarked in each subjects to give them proper representation in research and 5 per cent reservation is also in place for disabled students. As a result, at least 15 specially abled students are pursuing PhD while many have cleared JRF, NET and SLET.

"Disability is not a curse, but part of our diverse society. It is our responsibility to empower them with education and we are committed to it," said Vice-Chancellor Prof Sikander Kumar adding that the facility to avail service of a scribe for visually impaired and other disabled candidates who can't write due to disability has been provided.

As per the directions of the UGC and the state government, any person irrespective of his or her qualification can be scribe for eligible disabled students. Extra time of one hour in an examination of three hours is given to them. They are also provided scholarships by the state government.

The university allots hostel accommodation to the disabled students on priority. Free transportation facility is provided to bring the disabled students from hostels to campus and take them back, the Vice- Chancellor added.

Nodal Officer for disability affairs and in-charge of accessibility project Ajai Srivastava said that two years ago Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had inaugurated the Accessible Library for the disabled students.

It has 17 computers equipped with talking software and Wi-Fi to enable visually-impaired students to read online material and scan printed text by listening. The disabled students were greatly benefited by this. They have cracked JRF, NET and SLET, among other examinations.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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