ONE DAY SEMINAR ON ‘ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ALL’
Dr. Raakhi Gupta, Registrar, The IIS University welcomed Dr. Sudhir Varma, Director SPRI and Former Secretary Higher Education, the keynote speaker of the Seminar with flowers. Inaugural lamp lighting was done by Dr. Varma, Prof.K S Sharma, Advisor, The IIS University, Dr. Raakhi Gupta, Dr. Lata Shahani, Convenor, Equal Opportunity Cell and Dr. Nalini Totuka, Member Equal Opportunity Cell. A brief introduction of the various activities taken by the EOC was given by Dr. Garima Srivastava.
Dr. Varma acknowledged his old classmate Prof .Sharma for holding the fort. Recollecting French Revolution he said the motto was the trinity of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity as these cannot exist in isolation. Indian Constitution speaks of liberty, secularism and socialism. Higher education should be open to all regardless of caste, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability and gender. Access is most important. To create a society without discrimination it is essential to abolish mono culture. He addressed on the discrimination against women and disability and wished all students to speak up against any such expressions in University campus even to the extent of forming student union.
Prof. Kanchan Mathur from IDS Jaipur started with an informal interaction about gender discriminating practices with participants leading to stereotypical rules for girls. Men have to become earners and women home-makers irrespective of their choices making boys, assets and girls, liabilities. She was concerned about the Child Sex Ratio dropping to 881 in 2011 from 906 in 2001.In search of change they did a study of Indian Champions – the first time learners in Rajasthan to find positive indicators which enabled to reach college in spite of odds. They did not have equal opportunities. Access in benefiting Government programs helped them to overcome pressures of marriage from extended families and society.
Dr. Tanmoy Bhattacharya, Associate Professor from Linguistic Department Delhi University started with a saying from Socrates, ‘Unexamined life is not worth living’ encouraging participants when they first come in University to question oneself in relation with others.University is a place where there should be space for all equally. Conservative instruments on Census in India tell us that the % increase from 2001 to 2011 in disabled person is nominal from 2.1% to 2.2% but we should accept the UN figures on 10% persons with disability in India. He equated disability with gender in reference to social construction.
The seminar ended with a formal vote of thanks by Dr. Lata Shahani.