Minutes of the first Meeting of the Coordination-cum-Monitoring Committee constituted vide Ministry's Order No. 4-12/2009-NIs dated 15.11.2011, for the Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLRTC) being set up in IGNOU held on 24.11.2011 at 3.00 P.M. in Conference Room of the Ministry, under the chairmanship of Secretary (SJ&E).


          List of participants is annexed.

          Secretary (SJ&E) welcomed members of the Committee to its first meeting, and summarized the Government’s initiative to establish an Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLRTC), as an autonomous Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) at New Delhi, on project basis, initially for a period of five years.  He said that IGNOU is expected to nurture the Centre and make it operational at the earliest.   He then requested the Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, to apprise the Committee about the progress of the project so far, and the University's action plan to make the Centre fully operational.


2.           Prof. M. Aslam, Vice Chancellor (VC), IGNOU


(i)       Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment had conveyed  approval for establishment of ISLRTC vide order dated 21st July 2011.  The Board of Management (BoM), in its 109th meeting held on 27th August, 2011, approved setting up of the autonomous Centre. 


(ii)      IGNOU has earmarked 5 acres of land for the centre.  The University would consult DDA about modalities/ formalities to be completed.

(iii)        The existing educational repository materials developed for the University's B.A. (Sign Language) Programme and all other relevant material available with the University's National Centre for Disability Studies (NCDS) will be made available to the ISLRTC.  The Educational Media Production Centre (EMPC) of IGNOU will provide the initial technological support for the production and delivery of the audio/video/multimedia material. 

(iv)         The following two consultants have been appointed at the Centre:-

1.       Dr. Shehnaz Samantra, Sr. Project Consultant (joined w.e.f. 16.08.2011)

2.       Ms. Parveen Sachdeva, Jr. Consultant (joined w.e.f. 08.09.2011)

(v)      Prof. Madan Vasishta was offered the position of the Director of ISLRTC after the approval of BoM, and, a letter was sent to him accordingly by the former Vice-Chancellor conveying the decision of the BoM and offering him the position of Director.  Dr. Vasishta, in his e-mail reply, had accepted the offer and presented a ‘schedule’ in which he had indicated that he would work part-time in a virtual situation and full time when he is physically in Delhi.  The University has so far not allowed any of its academics to work from abroad.  The practice in the University has been to issue an offer and ask the concerned person to present himself/herself to complete various formalities connected with the appointment.  As a result, it has not been possible to issue a formal order of appointment to Dr. Vasishta.


3.      Secretary (SJ&E) clarified as under:-


(i)           ISLRTC is a joint commitment of the Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment & HRD.  Both the Ministers were present at its inauguration on 4.10.11.  The Ministry chose IGNOU, for locating the Centre in the interest of its faster operationalisation, adequate autonomy, and synergy with IGNOU's distance education network.  The Ministry expects IGNOU to establish the Centre with special care, on a fast track.

(ii)          ISLRTC is to be IGNOU's Centre, and the University has to plan and administer it like its any other Centre, with the difference that ISLRTC is to be funded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, it has to meet the goals and objectives set by the Ministry, and the Ministry is therefore to suitably monitor its progress. 


(iii)        The Centre will be in IGNOU during the project period of five years, after which a review will be done to decide its continuation or otherwise with IGNOU.


(iv)         Staff for the Centre is to be appointed as per norms and procedures of IGNOU.

(v)      Land and the building constructed for the Centre will remain with IGNOU and the University's procedures for construction projects are to be followed in this case too.


4.      Dr. Onkar Sharma, All India Federation of the Deaf, New Delhi


(i)           ISLRTC should be a permanent Centre and not for 5 years. 


(ii)      Each language has its own grammar.  Grammer of Sign language is very difficult.  Sign language include not only hand signs but also lip reading and facial expression etc.


(iii)     Various committees should be set up for transparency and decisions making.


5       Ms. Uma Kapoor, National Foundation of Deaf Women, New Delhi


(i)       Special educators well-versed in Sign language should be appointed at the Centre.


(ii)      For many courses, like computer courses, there is no one to teach students through Sign Language.  Special Educators in Sign Language are required, especially for computer courses.


6.      Shri K. Murali, Director, Deaf Leaders, Coimbatore


(i)       The Centre should continue beyond 5 years, otherwise, all  efforts would go waste.

(ii)          Research shows that in developed countries like Japan & Germany, 80% deaf have been empowered.


(iii)        80% staff in ISLRTC should comprise hearing impaired.


(iv)         There is a dire need for interpreters and every public office in the country should have an interpreter.


(v)          Sign language should be included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.


Secretary, SJ&E clarified that the Centre is being set up in IGNOU initially for 5 years, but it will continue beyond that period also, whether in IGNOU or otherwise.  The goal is to develop it as a world class Centre.  


7.      Shri Zorin Singha, National Association of the Deaf, New Delhi

(i)        The meeting should have been held in the presence of Prof. M.   Vasistha, Director of the Institute.

(ii)      Prof.  Vasistha is having dual citizenship.


(iii)     It needs to be clarified whether the recruitment of faculty would be done by IGNOU or ISLRTC.


Secretary, SJ&E said that as there had already been some delay in constituting the Committee it was necessary to call its first meeting as early as possible.  The Committee is to meet at least twice a year, but can and will meet more often, as necessary. IGNOU’s rules would apply to the appointment of Director and all other staff of the Centre.  However, IGNOU should duly take into account the views of the deaf community while developing the Centre, and should give due representation to it in appointments.  Details in this regard should be discussed in the University level Standing Advisory Committee of the Centre, which must be constituted and convened without further delay.


8.      Director, AJYNIHH, Mumbai

(i)       The concept of 'visibility' and 'deaf space' should be kept as a guideline while planning the building.

(ii)      191 special educators in sign language are at present undergoing training at NIHH, Mumbai.

(iii)     Courses of the ISLRTC would need RCI's approval.

          Secretary, SJ&E said that, in future, Chairman, RCI, may be invited as a special invitee to meetings of the Committee.


9.      VC, IGNOU said that 4 rooms have been allotted for temporarily housing the Centre.  He assured that there will be no compromise on quality and the Centre will be set up in a manner to best sub-serve the interests of the deaf community.  Planning for degree programmes at the Centre is underway and a concept paper in this regard is being prepared. As the launch of programme requires approval of the University's competent authorities, it would not be possible to launch programmes in January, 2012, but this will definitely be done by July, 2012.


          Secretary, SJ&E said that the deaf community must be actively involved in the design and development of the Centre's programmes. He also said that even if the Centre's degree / diploma programmes start in July, 2012, activities like suitable workshops /seminars etc. should begin at the earliest, so that presence of the Centre begins to be felt.


10.    Concluding the discussion, Secretary, SJ&E said that work on the  building, for which Rs.20.00 crore has been approved, should be planned and its execution undertaken, on priority.  Standing Advisory Committee for the Centre should be set up by the University immediately, and should start meeting at the earliest with a view to planning the Centre's premises, activities and programmes, with full involvement of the deaf community. IGNOU may organize a workshop / seminar early on the design of the proposed Centre building. He requested the members of the Committee to send their suggestions with regard to the building activities and programmes of the Centre in writing within a week to VC, IGNOU to enable the Standing Advisory Committee to discuss them in details.  On receipt of a proper proposal from IGNOU, the Ministry would be happy to release the first installment of funds for construction of the Centre building as far as possible, by February, 2012. 


11.    In the end, Secretary (SJ&E) thanked all Members for their valuable contribution.


































First meeting dated 24.11.11 of the Coordination-cum-Monitoring Committee for the ISLRTC being set up by the Ministry under IGNOU





1.       Shri K.M. Acharya,

          Secretary, Social Justice & Empowerment.


Members (Non official)


1.           Dr. Onkar Sharma, General Secretary, All India Federation of the Deaf


2.                   Ms. Uma Kapoor, National Foundation of Deaf Women


3.       Shri Zorin Singha, President, National Association of the Deaf


4.       Shri K. Murali, Director, Deaf Leaders, Coimbatore



Members – Ex-officio


1.       Prof. M. Aslam, VC, IGNOU


2.       Shri Pankaj Joshi, Joint Secretary


3.       Shri R. Rangasayee, Director, AYJNIHH





1.       Shri Jagdish Kumar, Dy. Secretary (Disability), MoSJ&E


2.       Prof. A.K. Jha, Director, Planning & Dev., IGNOU


3.       Dr. Tarun Pandeya, Dy. Director, Planning & Dev. Division, IGNOU


4.       Dr. Shehnaz Samantra, , Sr. Consultant, ISLRTC


5.       Ms Parveen Sachdeva, Jr. Consultant, ISLRTC,


6.       Ms Sonu Pandey, ISL Co-ordinator, Sign Language Interpreter, AYJNIHH


7.       Ms Angel Singha, Sign Language Interpreter (accompanying Shri Zorin Singha)










Name & Designation



Shri. K.M. Acharya,

Secretary, SJ&E



Prof. M. Aslam,




Dr. Onkar Sharma,

All India Federation of the Deaf



Ms. Uma Kapoor,

National Foundation of Deaf Women



Shri Zorin Singha,

National Association of the Deaf



Shri K. Kurali, Director

Deaf Leaders, Coimbatore



Shri. Pankaj Joshi,


Member, Ex-officio


Shri R. Rangasayee,

Director, AYJNIHH

Member, Ex-officio


Prof. A.K. Jha,

Director, Planning & Dev. (IGNOU)

Special Invitee


Dr. Shenaz,

ISLRTC, Sr. Consultant

Special Invitee


Mr. Parveen Sachdeva,

ISLRTC, Jr. Consultant

Special Invitee


Dr. Tarun Pandeya,

Dy. Director, PEDD, IGNOU

Special Invitee


Shri Sonu Pandey,

ISL Co-ordinator, Sign Language Interpreter, AYJNIHH

Special  Invitee


Shri Angel Singha,

Assistant Sign Language Interpreter

Special Invitee