Govt proposes to establish University of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Sciences – education

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The government has proposed to establish a “first of its type” university covering all of the gamut of disability studies and rehabilitation sciences in an accessible surroundings.

In a public notice issued on December 24, the Branch of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has invited comments from stakeholders on a draft invoice to establish the university.  In this regard, the DEPwD said, a draft invoice namely the University of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Sciences Invoice, 2021 for establishing the proposed university has been prepared.

The DEPwD said it intends to establish a University of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Sciences, Kamrup district, Assam through a separate act of Parliament.

“The proposed university, the first of its type, will be a unique multidisciplinary academic institution conducting research, programmes and courses from bachelor’s level onwards to cater to quite a lot of disciplines covering all of the gamut of disability studies and rehabilitation sciences in an accessible surroundings,” the DEPwD said. The proposed university will have eight departments viz. disability studies; rehabilitation sciences; audiology and speech language pathology; special education; psychology; nursing; orthotics and prosthetics and assistive technology; and inclusive and universal design. “The proposed university’s programmes will adopt a credit and grading system. The proposed university will offer affiliation to other institutions in disabilities and rehabilitation sciences in the country,” it said.

The Branch of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities hereby invites comments from the public on the draft University of Disability Studies and Rehabilitation Sciences Invoice, 2021 by January 3, 2021.

Prominent disabled rights body National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled, then again, called it another “ill-conceived idea”, which denied adequate time or space for stakeholders to reply.

“In this case, a mere nine days have been provided to elicit response to a 131-page document,” NPRD said in a observation.  “The entire more unacceptable is the truth that this university would be ‘self-sustaining’, in tune with the thrust of the New Education Policy 2020. With finances being generated from tuition fees, affiliation fees etc. students from the marginalised sections will stand disadvantaged,” it said.

“Relatively than wasting immense amounts of money on self-sustaining segregated centres of learning, it would do auger mannered whether the government adheres to the guiding principles of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of equality and non-discrimination and adopts and promotes an inclusive, multidisciplinary approach,” the NPRD said.

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