Students with dyslexia who have harboured the dream of studying in Delhi University can rejoice.
The university has submitted before the Delhi High Court that it will reserve seats for dyslexic students from now for admissions to various academic courses.
The number of seats has, however, not been quantified yet.
The assurance came following a court’s direction in a six-year-old PIL filed by Disabled Rights Group that has been actively canvassing for this cause.
They argued that “dyslexia was a distinct form of disability” and sought direction to the authorities concerned to extend all benefits, relaxation and concessions under the Disability Act to those suffering from the neurological disorder.
In 2004 when the PIL was filed, the university had refused to provide reservation contending that the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disability was of the view that dyslexia was not a disability under the Act.
But last year the commissioner's office and the Directorate General of Health Services changed its stand and said through an affidavit: “Dyslexia can be considered under the mental retardation category. Dyslexic persons with 40% or more disability should be eligible to claim the benefit of reservation of seats under Section 39 of the Disability Act.”
“Impairment of skills relating to language development on account of arrested or incomplete development of mind falls within the definition of mental retardation and is a disability,” the authorities had added
Following this, a Bench of Acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta said: “In the light of the opinion of the DGHS as well as the revised view of the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities, the university can certainly include dyslexic with 40% or more disability for the grant of benefits under Section 39 of the Act.”
Accordingly, DU was directed through the V-C to take a decision in the matter again.
The court took note of the fact that the CBSE has already recognised dyslexia as impairment and provides for certain concession to candidates.