With the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) all set to shut down the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) for the hearing-impaired, many students pinning their hopes on the course will be left in the lurch.
While the ISLRTC was sanctioned in October 2011 by the Ministry of Social Justice to set up a sign language centre within the university, the university has said they lack the infrastructure to support such a facility.
“ISLRTC wanted to set up a five-acre campus here and we don’t have such a huge land to offer them. We don’t have the financial or administrative wherewithal either to support the campus. So it has now been discontinued,” said M Aslam, vice chancellor, IGNOU.
However, officials at ISLRTC claimed the proposal had been axed because of the varsity’s claims of not having a mandate to continue the programme.
“The V-C told us that IGNOU did not have the mandate to conduct face-to-face classes. But the reason is baseless because the university conducts MPhil and PhD programmes too. So they have cited any random reason to do away with the programme,” said PR Ramanujam, former director, ISLRTC. While the programme has 70 students pursuing the course, there is still uncertainty over the fresh admissions for the course.
“We will make sure that these 70 students are seen through the entire course,” Aslam said.