In a latest decision taken by the Himachal Pradesh University (HPU), it has offered to grant 5% reservation to differently abled students. It has become the first university in North India to provide as high as 5 percent reservation to ‘Divyang’ students. As per the instructions of High Court, HPU will not only reserve 5% seats but will also provide boarding and hostel facility to differently abled students.
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The instructions of High Court comes after a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) was filed by Umang Foundation in High Court. The organisation filed plea after the varsity denied admission to a blind student in M.A Political Science course. On the other, the varsity had also not enrolled (at least one) differently abled student in M.A Economics course this year. A B.Ed college located in Dharmasala (affiliated to HPU) reserved only seven seats out of 250 under the differently-abled category. Similarly, only two seats out of 100 were reserved for ‘Divyang’ students in B.Ed course offered by HPU.
According to the PIL filed by the Umang Foundation, the varsity had arbitrarily denied admission to ‘Divyang’ students in a number of courses. The court considered the PIL and directed the varsity to follow proper rules and regulations, particularly those related to the reservation norms.
According to the Disability Rights Act 2016, which came into force on April 19, 2017, it mandates all higher learning institutes (both government and government-aided) to reserve 5% seats for differently abled students. However, HPU had violated the reservation norm and denied admission to ‘Divyang’ or differently abled students.