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Policy Document
Updated on 10 Jan, 2024

The National Centre for Disability Studies (NCDS) was established at IGNOU as an outcome of the approval of the proposal of the University by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India during the 10th Plan period. Initially, the Centre was conceived as the National Centre for Differently Abled (NCDA), however, later due to the change in legal terminology, the Centre was renamed as NCDS.

The policy document for establishment of the Centre is reproduced below:

“National Centre for Differently Abled (NCDA): Open & Distance Education (OD&E) is the most suitable mode of imparting education to the people even with acute disabilities because the system offers a non-handicapping or at least handicap-mitigating environment for teaching/learning process by the usage of appropriate technologies (Multi-media, Interactive – Teleconferencing, TV/Radio Broadcast and Virtual initiatives). Physically challenged/differently abled persons have got to be specifically enabled and developed so as to become self-reliant, self-assured and self-esteemed contributing in the national development. IGNOU has already taken some concrete steps for the cause of the differently abled. An MoU has been signed between IGNOU and Rehabilitation Council of India, on 21st September, 2000 for making joint efforts in developing, implementing and promoting extension, training and education programmes for the empowerment of people with disabilities.

It is proposed to establish a National Centre for the Differently Abled with national as well as international recognition and visibility. It is envisaged to support and enable differently abled persons to reach peak of excellence. The proposed National Centre shall be an autonomous Centre under the control of IGNOU and will be set up on the IGNOU Campus at Maidan Garhi, New Delhi. The proposed Centre will act as the Nodal Agency for distance and open learning institutions/organizations in the country and abroad as well as for governmental and non-governmental organizations working in the field of education and training of the differently abled people. The Centre will concentrate on the following activities: (i) Collaborate and coordinate with national as well as international agencies/organizations/institutions/ and the concerned departments of central as well as state governments for development and delivery of Programme, (ii) Develop innovative approaches and policies for education, training and rehabilitation of the persons of disability, (iii) Design and develop educational, vocational and awareness-generating programmes for the disabled persons, their parents and other family members, professionals providing services in the disability sector and other such target groups, (iv) Identify and develop appropriate information and communication technologies and software for education and training in the area of disability, (v) Share expertise and extend support to other such programmes throughout the country as an Apex National Resource Centre, (vi) Conduct teaching and research in the area of education and rehabilitation, with focused attention on innovations, to develop user friendly and economically viable systems employing emerging areas of technology, (vii) Identify and develop innovative academic activities as may be useful for implementing the provisions of PWDA: Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995, (viii) Design and develop cost effective target group friendly systems of program delivery for educating the persons with disabilities and generating human resource in the area of rehabilitation and special education, (ix) Regularize and standardize rehabilitation services and special education of the persons with disabilities in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) as per the MOU, (x) Develop a network of Training and Employment Information and Guidance Centres and (xi) Undertake assignments of monitoring and evaluation, on behalf of funding agencies, of projects undertaken in the field of rehabilitation and special education.

Some of the specific measures to promote the enrolment of the members of disadvantaged groups in open learning system could be : (a) Setting up of Regional Centres and Study Centres in the areas of SC/ST concentration; in the National/Regional/State Level Centres for Disabled and in low female literacy districts; (b) Differential fee system favouring disadvantaged groups; (c) Fee exemption and/or Meritorious Financial award & Scholarship schemes; (d) Bank loan schemes and (e) development of specific programmes and deficiency make-up counselling.”


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[Updated on 12-Jun-2024]