visually challenged


Setting an example of upholding the rights of disabled students, the Delhi High Court ordered the University of Delhi to conduct another entrance exam in order to aid a visually challenged aspirant.

On 22nd August 2017, the Delhi High Court directed the University of Delhi (DU) to conduct an entrance examination for the visually challenged youth who could not appear for the M.Phil. Sanskrit entrance test. The candidate was unable to take the examination as he could not board the railway coach reserved for disabled persons, owing to the irresponsibility of the Indian Railways.


On 4th July 2017, Vaibhav Shukla booked a ticket for Delhi in the Jharkhand Sampark Kranti. He was going to Delhi to give an entrance exam which was scheduled for 5th July, 2017. When the train was delayed, he decided to catch the Gorakhdham Express which departs from Unnao at 10:45 p.m. on 4th July and reaches Delhi at 5:55 a.m. the next day. However, Gorakhdham Express arrived 13 hours late from its scheduled arrival. When Vaibhav and his driver tried to board the train, they found that the reserved coach was locked from inside. Since the stoppage was only for two minutes, he could not make it to another reserved coach as it was at the other end of the train, thus, ended up missing the train. Once in Delhi, he told the University authorities about his plight, but the officials refused to help him.

Legal Proceedings

After coming to know about Vaibhav’s situation, a bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar initiated a suo moto cognizance on 7th July. Subsequently, they sent notices to the Union of India, North Eastern Railways, and the University of Delhi.

In response to the notice, DU argued that relief cannot be granted to Mr. Vaibhav Shukla. One of the arguments was that since all candidates must be judged through the same test, it is not feasible to conduct another exam. DU also contended that if entrance test is repeated it will set a precedent for future where anyone who turns up late can demand another chance.

All these arguments were contested by amicus curiae Mr. S.K. Runga. He pointed out that for all exams, DU prepares two question papers that are of the same level of difficulty. While one paper is already utilised, the second paper remains with DU and can be used for Vaibhav’s test. Therefore, the inconvenience of having to prepare a fresh question paper is irrelevant. With regards to the concern that the present case will be used as a precedent, it will be made clear that the order has been passed in the special circumstances and this case cannot be cited as a precedent.

After hearing all arguments, the court ruled for another entrance exam and said, “It is directed that within ten days from today, the University of Delhi shall conduct an entrance examination for the respondent no. 4 for admission to the M.Phil. (Sanskrit) 2017-18 session forthwith and declare his result.”

Feature Image Credits- The Hindu

Niharika Dabral

[email protected] 

Under the “mapped by digital vision” program, Miranda House has installed a hundred QR Code acrylic scanning sheets at several important places across the campus like the library, canteen, classes etc. Miranda House’s Principal, Dr. Pratibha Jolly, feels proud on taking a step towards making technology more accessible to the visually challenged.

The digital signages work through a customised smartphone app that sends out digital signals when a user is found in a proximity of three feet of the QR Code. The app identifies that location and gives  signals in the form of verbal messages. These messages direct the visually challenged to the direction and number of steps to be taken to enter a place. “If a student wants to meet me, the digital signage in the office corridor gives a warning about the glass door and verbally directs the student on how many steps she should take to reach the spot”, said the college’s principal.

The digital mapping program was undertaken by the college’s “Enabling Society – Lakshita”. The society also carries out a program, “Samdrishti” under which student volunteers guide the visually challenged around the campus, to metro stations, or to bus stops. The initiative of installing digital signages is an extension to the program which adds to making the college’s campus more accessible to disabled students.

By taking such an initiative, the college has taken a big leap towards making Delhi University’s campus more disabled-friendly. The technology may prove to be a boon for students as well as volunteers during the admission season, enabling students to move around in the campus independently.


Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Priyal Mahtta
[email protected]