Here?s the latest from Delhi University
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Here?s the latest from Delhi University

The National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun, has agreed to foot half the bill in order to set up a resource centre for blind students at the Delhi University, say university officials.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 14:46 IST
Rahat Bano

The National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun, has agreed to foot half the bill in order to set up a resource centre for blind students at the Delhi University (DU), say university officials.

According to them, though the university requested for over Rs. 18 lakhs, the Union government-run institution has agreed to provide only over Rs. 9 lakhs for Braille production, talking books and e-text productions.

There are indications, however, that the NIVH might be increasing this fund from 50 to 75 per cent. Meanwhile, informs Vinod Sena, a retired English professor and the university’s point man for the proposed project, “We are also negotiating with a foreign foundation in a European country for the rest (25 per cent) of the funds. The foundation representatives have visited us and have agreed to provide help for the Braille project.”

“In the first phase, we are focussing on the visually challenged. Eventually, we may combine the resources for a centre for students of all disabilities,” says Sena. In fact, initially the university wanted to build a separate unit for the disabled.Every year, the university admits about 300 undergraduate physically handicapped students – against the statutory three per cent reserved quota, one per cent of which is for the visually impaired. The data for PG blind students has not been collated, said Sena.

DU-UK deals on the cards
DU is trying to chalk out proposals to partner with British institutions under the £10-million UK-India Education and Research Initiative, announced by British Prime Minister Tony Blair last year. Its School of Open Learning (SOL) is expected to partner with the Open University, UK. The Central Institute of Education (CIE) is also expected to join the bandwagon. However, proposals have not been drawn as yet.

Rama Mathew, Professor, CIE, and co-ordinator for the task, said, “It’s a bit pre-mature to say anything right now.” The proposal is likely to be prepared in a week. According to a DU official, authorities have invited suggestions on potential collaborations from teachers of the Faculty of Education. Other university departments, too, have been asked which British institutions they would prefer to partner with, he added. According to the official, “The Vice Chancellor is very keen on pedagogic issues, new ways of learning, not rote learning, that our teachers may adopt, so that school children benefit ultimately.”
The final consultations to devise UKIERI implementation strategies were held at two conferences in March this year.

That extra effort
Keeping up with its tech drive, SOL has turned the exam hall tickets of around 18,000 undergraduate compartmental students' into new ones with their scanned photographs. A reason for doing so, said officials, was that this might reduce the chances of impersonation in exams, mostly done by changing a genuine candidate's photo with an impersonator’s. SOL functionaries scanned the admit cards and planted all candidates’ images in the formats.
Next year onwards, Masters’ students may also fill up the new, computer-generated compact exam forms.

First Published: May 17, 2006 19:47 IST