JNU prof critically examines progress made in promoting research on disability studies in book


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Jawaharlal Nehru University professor, who was affected by polio at the age of three, has written a book critically examining the progress made in promoting teaching and research on disability studies. He said the UGC has not yet taken the initiative to constitute a model curriculum development committee on disability studies for its advancement.

Meanwhile, more than 17 universities/academic institutions (including TISS, IGNOU, JNU and DU) have moved towards launching disability studies programmes, though in a haphazard manner because of a lack of model curriculum, he claimed.

Gajendra Narayan Karna, a disability right activist, has penned the book titled Curriculum Development on Disability Studies. For the past 18 months, he has been struggling with cancer. The discipline of disability studies was granted recognition as an academic discipline by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in September 2005, he said.

The University Grants Commission was directed to extend support to universities and colleges in setting up special department or centre on disability studies as also instituting Rajiv Gandhi Chair in Disability Studies in central universities, Karna added. It was further reinforced by the 11th five-year plan in Working Group on Disability.

"Notwithstanding all these developments, the UGC has not taken as yet even the basic initiative of constituting a model curriculum development committee on disability studies (as has been done in the case of Gandhian studies, human rights, Dalit studies and other academic disciplines)," he claimed.

He said his book is intended to examine critically the progress made with regard to promotion of teaching and research on disability studies, and thereby attempting to develop a model curriculum on disability studies for various programmes of studies being offered by Indian universities and academic institutions.

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