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India’s Supreme Court gives UGC eight weeks to frame accessibility guidelines 

Supreme Court of India New Delhi
Photo: Dreamstime

India’s Supreme Court on Monday directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to ensure that accessibility guidelines for students with disabilities in universities and colleges are formulated in eight weeks.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna noted the submission of the UGC’s counsel that a committee has been constituted following a direction of the court. It would look into the formulation of accessibility guidelines for students with disabilities in universities and colleges, reports NDTV.

Advocate Manoj Ranjan Sinha, appearing for the UGC, said at the outset that an updated status report has been filed, and it would take another eight weeks to frame the accessibility guidelines given the current coronavirus situation.

The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on March 14. In 2017, the top court had said that for Guidelines for Accessibility for Students with Disabilities in Universities/Colleges, the UGC should consider the feasibility of constituting a committee.

In this Committee, the UGC would be free to include persons from amongst Central Advisory Board, State Advisory Boards, Chief Commissioner or State Commissioners appointed under the Disabilities Act. This Committee shall undertake a detailed study for making provisions regarding accessibility and pedagogy and suggest the modalities for implementing those suggestions, their funding, monitoring, etc., the top court had said.

The Committee shall also lay down the time limit within which such suggestions could be implemented. The expert committee may also consider the feasibility of constituting an in-house body in each educational institution (of teachers, staff, students, and parents) for taking care of the day-to-day needs of persons with disabilities and for implementation of the schemes devised by it.

The top court heard an application filed in the writ petition by the Disabled Right Group.

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