SC seeks response from Centre on PIL regarding students with disabilities and online classes

New Delhi, India Published: Aug 31, 2021, 09:46 PM(IST)

Online classes Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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To ensure that students with disabilities participate equally in online classes, the petitioner has sought guidelines for all states, UTs, and academic institutions

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre on a plea seeking directions to issue specific guidelines to ensure students with disabilities participate equally with others in online classes.

A bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar, Sanjiv Khanna and J K Maheshwari issued notice to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and Department of Higher Education on a PIL filed by Javed Abidi Foundation.

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The top court also directed the petitioner to place on record all applications to government authorities and their responses and allowed the petitioner to carry out amendment in the petition within two weeks from today.

The foundation has sought guidelines for all States, UTs and academic institutions so as to ensure that students with disabilities participate equally with others in online classes.

The PIL has also sought protection and enforcement of the fundamental right to equality and right to life of students with disabilities with regard to the conduct of online classes and examinations by educational institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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"The universities, colleges are conducting online classes during the pandemic without considering the various challenges faced by students with disabilities and meeting their access needs and without providing reasonable accommodations to them. Students with disabilities are in a deplorable state with no access to lectures, study materials or assistance for those students who need individualized support," the plea said.

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