Bengaluru: The Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has directed all 218 the affiliated engineering colleges, including autonomous ones, to form an internal committee to build disabled-friendly campus to promote education of students with disabilities.
Following directions from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the university registrar issued the orders to principals and heads of all engineering colleges to take steps to constitute an Equal Opportunity Cell and Internal Committee to create a barrier-free environment for physically challenged students.
A circular issued by UGC Joint Secretary Dr G.S. Chauhan asked all universities, including VTU and engineering colleges, to take immediate steps to constitute these committees and Equal Opportunity Cells to help disabled students and the elderly visiting the campus.
The internal committee, comprising teachers, staff, students and parents, is mandatory in every engineering college to take care of the day-to-day needs of differently-abled people.
The committee must focus on effective implementation of schemes, scholarships and aid provided by both the central and state governments for promotion of education and empowerment of specially-abled students studying technical and professional courses.
VTU has instructed the engineering colleges to modify their existing campus buildings to make them barrier free and accessible to people with disabilities.
Sources in a college told Deccan Chronicle that the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) too has passed similar instructions to colleges. VTU has also recommended colleges to focus on wheelchair users, people with limited walking abilities, the sightless and the partially sighted, the hearing impaired, people with difficulties in learning and those who are temporarily disabled due to accidents or illnesses.
A minimum of 2-5 per cent of the seating in classrooms should be made accessible to accommodate students with limited mobility or persons using wheelchairs.
Doors, tables and chairs must be adjusted to make them suitable for such students. Landing should be provided to assist people who cannot manage long staircases, facilities for resting, manoeuvring and avoiding excessive speeds, said the officials....