The NUJS Policy for Specially Abled Persons was drafted in 2020 when a need was felt that the University should prevent all access-barriers to the students in order to ensure a safe, accessible and supportive learning environment for all students at NUJS. NUJS is committed to providing an accessible, supportive, safe and inclusive learning environment for all persons with Specially Abilities. We acknowledge that the lack of accessibility and the means of any inclusion could be an impediment for many motivated and meritorious students of NUJS. At NUJS, we strive to ensure that their Special Ability does not become the reason they are not afforded equal and appropriate opportunities to enter and participate fully in the activities of the University. Institutional inclusivity is one of the most fundamental factors which needs to be addressed in order to ensure accessibility to legal education. In pursuance of this understanding, the policy provided that NUJS shall strive to provide equal and appropriate opportunities to prospective and current students and faculties to enter and participate fully in the activities of the University. The policy, inter-alia provides for the Governing Principles that shall aid in providing a supportive environment for the students, provisions on confidentiality and disclosure, and the establishment of an Internal Committee for Students with Disabilities. It also provides for measures on general accessibility in order to make the University classes, hostels, and the general campus disability friendly. The policy extends to issues of academic, examination and medical accessibility and also provides for a robust grievance redressal mechanism.
However, while the drafting of the above policy was a welcome step in making the University campus more inclusive and disability friendly, it is also true that the policy would remain an empty shell without an enabling mechanism. An enabling mechanism for the policy would ensure that all its provisions and objectives are taken to their logical conclusion by the concerned authorities.
The lack of a dedicated centre at National Law Universities to deal with systematic discrimination and able-normative frameworks further implores us to strive towards developing a comprehensive body at NUJS which can ensure the deconstruction of such frameworks. To this end, we propose to establish the Centre for Disability Rights and Equal Opportunities at NUJS, making it the first National University in the Country to have such a Centre.
The Centre shall strive to educate all stakeholders about systemic discrimination, attempt to deconstruct able-normative frameworks, and attempt to make the stakeholders, unlearn their prejudices.