84% Of Seats For People With Disabilities Unfilled At Top Universities Including IITs, IIMs, & DU
According to a fresh survey conducted by the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), at least 32 of India’s top universities and institutions of higher learning, including IITs, IIMs, JNU and DU have together filled up barely 16% of the minimum quota for people with disabilities.
This survey exposed the failure of the implementation of 1995 Disability Act which had fixed a minimum 3% quota for people with disabilities. It is found that the top Indian colleges took in only 1,614 disabled people out of a student population of 3.33 lakh which is just 0.48% of the total. Women with disabilities make only 28% of the disabled students in these colleges.
Talking to the The Times of India, Javed Abidi, honorary director of NCPEDP said that “Laws and policies are meaningless if colleges and universities are not accessible to persons with disabilities”
“These are the top 50 national institutions. Imagine what it would be like in other colleges and universities across India,” he added.
The survey was conducted from August to November 2017 by the NCPEDP. University of Hyderabad, Benaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Punjab University and Goa University, were some the of other institutions covered in the survey where it was found that of the disabled students, 71.81% were male while 28.19% were female.
For a very long time, NCPEDP has been pointing out that females with disabilities were at a great disadvantage. “When I look at this ratio, I wonder what the HRD and women and child development ministries are doing about girls with disabilities. We have completely neglected the responsibility of educating people with disabilities. More than 20 years after the 1995 Disability Act, what do we have to show? The state of education is the same. In fact, it has gotten worse, as the survey helps expose,” Abidi added.
For the survey, the NCPEDP had sent a questionnaire to the top 50 universities in the country and study found that out of the 1,614 disabled students studying in various universities, in terms of a disability-wise breakup, 613 have orthopaedic disabilities while 311 have visual disabilities. Another 31 have speech and/or hearing impairments.
The response rate of the universities was 64% (i.e. 32 of the 50 universities who were approached responded).
The results of this survey suggest a gradual decrease in enrolment of differently-abled students in higher education since the previous report which was published in April 2015 which holds the percentage of the total number of students with impairment at 0.56%.
Even after 20 years of the enactment of Disability Act 1995, the actual implementation is less 0.5% as against the minimum quota of 3%, which raises many questions. Why are these differently-abled students not able to attend colleges and educational institutions? The Logical Indian urges the government to take notice of the survey and make education more accessible to people with disability.