A notice has been issued by the High court to the University of Delhi on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging its proposed four-year undergraduate programme with multiple degrees in its present form.
A division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath sought a response from the university by May 15.
The proposed course, if introduced in present form, will cause “irreparable loss” to students with impaired vision, advocate Pankaj Sinha, appearing for the petitioner NGO Sambhavana, according to the court.
The Delhi University is to implement the four-year undergraduate programme from its next academic session in July this year.
Sambhavana, which works for the welfare of disabled students, said: “If the four-year undergraduate programme with multiple degree is introduced in present form, the students with vision impairment will suffer irreparable loss as they shall not be able to participate in the mainstream education system.”
“Students with visual impairment are presently exempted from studying science and maths after Class 8 in some cases and after Class 10 in most of the cases,” the NGO pointed out.
“In case the existing approved programme is implemented, such students shall not be able to meet the requirements of the foundation course in the first year of the four-year undergraduate programme which contains a bouquet of 11 courses, including Building Mathematical Ability and Science and Life as mandatory,” mentioned in the petition.
It asked the court to direct Delhi University to introduce a “bridge course programme” for maths and science for students with vision impairment so they could also be given a level-playing field to pursue the foundation course as prescribed in the first year.
The petition said: “A large number of students with vision impairment seek admission in Delhi University every year. They cannot be deprived of studying the foundation course on an equal basis with other students. Therefore, a provision of the bridge course should be followed by the foundation course in second year of the said programme.”
“The four-year undergraduate programme with multiple degree does not take into consideration the concern of the students with vision impairment, therefore, the same is arbitrary and illegal, hence discriminatory,” according to it.