HP University of Horticulture & Forestry says no to disable students despite HC orders
SOLAN – A couple of days ago, Himachal was proud on Umesh Lubana, a completely blind HP university student, who created history as he became the first visually disable student who cleared the UGC NET and qualified for the Junior Research Fellowship. However, the reality is that disabled students have still not found place in many educational institutes.
Against the orders of the Himachal Pradesh High Court that has given a deadline to government to ensure equal opportunity for education to disabled students, Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan has declined to provide free education to the disabled students. The deadline has passed two and half months ago. The notification issued by the Registrar in this regard is rather against the interest of the disabled students.
The division bench comprising Justices Rajiv Sharma and Tarlok Singh Chauhan has passed a judgment on 4th June on the PIL filed by Umang Foundation (No. 30 / 2011). The bench had directed the Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF) Solan, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and CSK Agriculture University, Palampur to provide free education to disabled children within a period of six weeks.
The H.P. University, obeying the orders, issued a notification on 25th July accordingly to provide free education to the disabled. The Agriculture University, Palampur has also proposed a full fee waiver in accordance with the court order but it has not been notified yet.
Taking strong exception, Ajai Srivastava, chairman of Umang Foundation, has termed it as “contempt of court”and gave a weeks’s time to the University to correct the rule or face the music in the court.
Ajai Srivastava said, the glaring example of deliberate defiance of High Court’s orders is of Horticulture University. Its notification dated 26th September says that no tuition fee shall be charged from the disabled students and only those candidates will avail this tuition -fee waiver who are admitted under 3 percent reservation quota.
Shrivastva raised questions over such apathetic and defiant attitude of the university authorities, and further said,
Interestingly, the tuition-fee waver is already available to the disabled students for the last so many years. The new notification, in place of mentioning free education to them, has only reiterated the old rules. It is a clear cut case of deliberate contempt of court. And and it is also deprives those disabled students from tuition fee waiver who will take admission after competing under general quota. Is this a sin to compete with general candidates and get admission?
Ajai Shrivastva has written a letter to the Registrar of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, has warned if the university does not provide free education as per court’s order, a contempt petition will be filed.
It’s not the first time that Ajai Shrivastva has taken up the issue of equal opportunity and education for disabled children. He has been fighting this battle with government for a long time. However, the government and university authorities do not consider it their responsibility to attend to the special needs of disabled students.
Surprisingly, in this case, Nauni University did not hesitate to ignore High Court of HP and clearly said no to disabled students.