The Panjab University’s (PU) syndicate in its forthcoming meeting on February 4 will take a call on written exam guidelines for persons with specified disabilities, as issued by the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment.
The varsity currently allows scribe facility for persons with disabilities (PWD) as per the 2013 guidelines, but for implementing the 2018 guidelines, it is mandatory to create a panel of scribes.
The ministry’s department of empowerment of persons with disabilities had issued the fresh guidelines for conducting written examinations for persons with specified disabilities in 2018.
The guidelines are aimed at a uniform and comprehensive policy across the country for persons with disabilities for written examination, taking into account improvement in technology and new avenues that provide them a level-playing field.
The syndicate in its meeting will consider the recommendations of a varsity panel made during a meeting held in November. The panel has recommended that the university, on its own level, should start implementing the creation of a pool of scribes for which everyone should be encouraged to actively participate in, especially the NSS and other NGOs working in the university. The panel has also observed that there is a need to procure a Braille machine and creation of a computer lab and provision of e-text or the computers with screen reading software.
The other important agendas for the syndicate meeting include the extension in term of university’s Dean University Instruction (DUI) Renu Vig, who is also officiating vice-chancellor (V-C) of the university at present. Decision will be taken on her extension till October 31, 2023. Her one-year term as DUI is going to end on February 21, 2023.
The syndicate will also take a call on whether the term of professor Jagtar Singh as dean student welfare (DSW) should be extended for another year from February 1, 2023. However, the syndicate may also decide to appoint another professor of the university, DSW at his place from February 1, 2023.
The executive body will also take a decision on the constitution of revising committee, regulations committee and standing committee to deal with the cases of the alleged misconduct and use of unfair means in connection with the examinations
What the 2018 guidelines say
The facility of scribe/reader/lab assistant should be allowed to any person with specified disability as defined under Section 2(r) of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, and has limitations in writing, including that of speed, if so desired by them
The candidates should have the discretion of opting for their own scribe/reader/lab assistant or request the examination body for the same
The examining body may also identify the scribe/reader/lab assistant to make panels at the district/division/state level as per the requirements of the examination.
There should also be flexibility in accommodating any change in scribe/reader/lab assistant in case of emergency
The candidates should also be allowed to take more than one scribe/reader for writing different papers, especially for languages. However, there can be only one scribe per subject.