Many students in the Equal Opportunities Cell office felt that they were better off here than in any other centre.

In the Equal Opportunities Cell at Delhi University’s North Campus on Friday, many differently-abled students, ranging from the visually impaired to those with locomotor disabilities and dyslexia, were seated in an air-conditioned room and were calmly being helped with their application forms by special volunteers sensitive to their needs. This was in drastic contrast to the scenes in centres such as Daulat Ram College, which on day one and two, forced these students to brave the heat and get in line with other categories.

“Before admissions begin, we issue specific instructions to principals to make separate dedicated accessible space to deal with admissions for differently-abled students. Special help desks are made exclusively for them and there are also adequate volunteers from the NSS and NCC. Now, we have started sending special teams to ensure that the problem of ‘bad arrangements’, as in Daulat Ram College, is not repeated,” said Equal Opportunities Cell (Officer on Special Duty) Bipin Tiwary, adding that sometimes despite every precaution, some centres do not make adequate provisions.

However, it has always been easier for the students to come across to the Equal Opportunities Cell, which is situated in the Arts Faculty, right across the Daulat Ram College admission centre. Many students in the Equal Opportunities Cell office felt that they were better off here than in any other centre. They were also under the impression that they could get the correct information only here.

“Since last year, the process has been made fair and inclusive. Earlier, admissions were centralised. The student was allotted a seat by the centre and he or she had to take whatever was on offer. Now, the application procedure is the same as that of the general category students,” added Mr. Tiwary.

There is a three per cent quota for each course in the university now and this amounts to around 1,500 seats that are available for the students. There are separate cut-offs for them and the students in this category only compete with each other.

“This year, so far, around 111 students have applied under the Persons with Disabilities (PWD) category only at the Equal Opportunities Office. However, the data from the 18 centres that are selling forms will be known to us only after June 16, that is when we will be able to know how high the cut-offs are for the PWD students. However, they need not worry, almost all students who apply are admitted,” said Mr. Tiwary.

He added that last year they got a total of 623 applications for this category and all of them were admitted. Around 40 per cent disability and a certificate issued by a government doctor is needed to apply.

Within the three per cent PWD quota, one per cent is allocated for the visually impaired, one per cent for the hearing impaired, and one per cent for people with locomotor disabilities and cerebral palsy.

If sufficient candidates are not available from one category, the remaining seats go to any other sub-category that needs requires the seat.

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