According to the definition of United Nations(UN), the persons with Disabilities ( PWDs) are those who are unable to ensure wholly or partly, the necessities of normal individuals as a result of deficiency in their physical or mental capabilities.
As per the global estimates, the persons with disabilities constitute about one tenth of the total population according to which the number of persons with disabilities in our courtier should be approximately 100 million. However in accordance to the national sample survey conducted in 1991, it is estimated that there are about 16 million persons with disabilities (Visual, Hearing and Loco-motor) in in India.
Through the persons with disabilities may be deficient in certain physical or mental functions, yet most of the times he/she may be intelligent and capable of receiving technical and vocational education which may help him/her to become self-dependent and a useful member of the society. However, providing technical educational and training to the persons with disabilities is not a simple task but a great challenge and new avenues and methods will have to be developed to achieve this very difficult task.
The problem is very complex due to the fact that about 95 per cent of the adults with disability are illiterate and 78 per cent of them live in rural areas. Therefore, imparting technical and vocational education particularly to such a large illiterate population is a huge task. Hence it demands that new avenues of providing technical and vocational education and skill development programmes for the disabled should be properly explored to supplement the currently available meager facilities. One of the suitable avenues is to open new opportunities of technical and vocational education for persons with disabilities is in the existing polytechnics.
In accordance with the above requirements, Ministry of Human Resource Development, envisaged a centrally sponsored scheme for upgrading some of the existing polytechnics to integrate the persons with disabilities in the mainstream of technical and vocational education so as to bridge the gap in the facilities currently available for training the PWDs. The present facilities for this purpose are too meagre and the population catered to is very small. Further only a few attempts have so far been made to integrate the PWDs with the mainstream students under various facilities already available for them.
The present proposal aims to select and upgrade 50 existing polytechnics in different locations of the country to introduce technical, vocational and skill development programmes for persons with disabilities. The selected polytechnics/resource institutions will also conduct research and tracer studies related to education and training, utilization, employability etc. of the PWDs. They will also develop institutional environment which gradually reduces discreminationm and disparities and integrate the PWDs with the mainstream. It is integrated that these 50 selected polytechnics would benefit every year about 1250 students with disabilities in diploma level courses and about 5000 PWDs through short duration vocational/skill development training programmes.
The 50 polytechnics for the scheme have been selected based on the criteria like willingness, facilities available, state government support, and track record of the polytechnic. A Selection Committee was constituted by the department of Education (MHRD) to identify the polytechnics. Inter state distribution of polytechnics under the scheme is based on the size of the state and number of polytechnics functioning in the respective states. States possessing 40 or more polytechnics may implement this scheme in 3-4 polytechnics, those possessing 15 to 40 in 2-3 polytechnics and remaining states /UTs in one polytechnic each.
25 seats, over and above the sanction intake would be provided in each of the selected polytechnics for the persons with disabilities (belonging to any section of society) in regular three-year diploma programmes. polytechnics will also conduct vocational training /skill development programmes for about 100 students per year in various disciplines. Only need-based courses, identified on the basis of scientific survey will be introduced. The successful students shall be awarded certificates at the end of the course.
Admission to these 25 seats will be made directly by the selected polytechnics based on merit at 10+ or 10+2 (as applicable) at par with concessions available for SC/ST categories through paper advertisement. Age and qualifying percentage marks relaxation would be provided, as per existing state/central government rules. The Principal of the Polytechnic will try to admit all categories of persons with disabilities depending upon the availability of suitable infrastructural facilities for respective categories in the polytechnic. All efforts will be made to accommodate the women with disabilities in both diploma and skill development programmes to the extent of 15 per cent of the seats reserved for persons with disability to start with. Entry for vocational/skill development programmes would be more flexible than for normal diploma programmes. Special coaching and quidance and counseling for students with disabilities may also be organized. The existing placement cell in the polytechnics are proposed to be strengthened to provide quidance and counseling, establishing liaison with various organizations and placement of students in employment.
Faculty and staff will be specifically trained to offer effective education and training services and to tackle the adjustment problems of students with disabilities. The selected institutes will also consider to appointment of part time or full time (contractual basis consultants/master draftsman and resource persons who can effectively contribute to various activities for implementing the scheme successfully.
The students with disabilities will be encouraged through provisions like scholarship, transport facilities or alternative financial incentives, supply of books /educational materials, uniforms free boarding and lodging etc
OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHEME
The objectives of the scheme are:
- To promote education and training of persons with disabilities by integrating them in the maintstream of technical and vocational education and skill development programmes through formal and non-formal programmes.
- To identify the persons with disabilities in the suitable geographical catchment area of the polytechnic.
- To identify suitable education and training programmes for persons with disabilities, with special emphasis on non-formal skill development programmes for illiterate youth with disabilities, for promoting wage and self employement, as far as possible at their place of residence.
- To design need and competency based curricula for the persons with disabilities.
- To prepare/procure/develop suitable resources, including physical, human and informational, for effective implementation of the programmes.
- To develop norms and standards for different phases of the scheme, wherever needed.
- To network and collaborate with resource institutions and other organizations and take their assistance for manpower training guidance and effective implementation of the scheme.
- To sensitize administrators, planners, faculty, staff and students and community at large about the problems and capabilities of the students with disabilities and to create suitable environment in the polytechnics.
- To develop innovative educational technologies and approaches for education, training and rehabilitation of youth with disabilities.
- To strengthen the existing placement cells of polytechnics to help for providing guidance and counselling and placement services to youth with disability for wage and self employment opportunities.
- To evolve suitable methods and practices for monitoring the scheme.
- To undertake any other activity which will help in achieving the objectives of the scheme.