[ipsl] Hearing impaired girl wins battle ...

  • From: tanmoy <tanmoy.bhattacharya@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ipsl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 16:45:29 +0530

AHMEDABAD, 19 Sep: A 17–year–old girl with hearing impairment, Rachna
Shah, heaved a sigh of relief when she was allowed to take her diploma
exams on Friday after a prolonged legal battle for justice. The
Gujarat Technological University (GTU) had to permit her to appear for
the test after a Gujarat High Court order in her favour on Thursday.
The decision came after irregularities were detected in the evaluation
of her answer sheets of remedial tests.

Rachna's fight against the university and education system was not
only for herself, but for all those physically challenged students who
are discriminated against by state's education authorities. After
clearing the boards last year, Rachna enrolled in a diploma course in
electronics and communication. Just before she was to take her second
semester exams, GTU changed the medium of study to English. Rachna had
all along studied in Gujarati medium.

To her shock, she was declared failed in all six subjects. The
university provided remedial tests for three subjects, but she was
passed in one subject only. She appeared in the mid semester test and
secured 67.7 per cent, but was not allowed to attend classes from
April this year because she did not clear all the papers in the
remedial tests.

She sensed some problem either in calculation of marks or in
evaluation of her answer sheets. Rachna requested the authorities to
show her answer sheets, which they refused. Ultimately, she approached
the officer appointed under the RTI Act, but was shown her copies from
a distance only and that too only the first page of the answer book.

She approached the Gujarat High Court demanding transparency in
evaluation system, to fix 20 per cent criteria as passing score for
disabled students, and to allow her to sit in the third semester. But
the judge refused to entertain her application. Ultimately, a division
bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi heard
her case. The judges were furious over the university's attitude
towards this physically disabled student.

On court's instructions, the university showed answer sheets to
Rachna, a team of subject experts re–assessed the copies, upgraded her
marks in two subjects and reduced marks in three papers. A 10–member
committee was also set up to inquire against the evaluators, who
checked Rachna's answer sheets first. A show–cause notice was issued
to evaluators asking them why they should not be debarred on counts of
negligence and insincerity.

The court's order has not only smoothened things for Rachna alone, but
will force GTU to make appropriate changes in its policy towards
physically disabled students.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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