News

Volume 3 Issue 17 - September 01, 2005

Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship offers vital data to map educational status of disabled people

D.N.I.S. News Network - The Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship Scheme for Students with Disability, instituted by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) has become an important source of data for creating a nation-wide profile of needs of people with disabilities, particularly in the context of higher professional education.

This data clearly reveals how region, gender, economic background and nature of disability are represented among the applicants and recipients of these scholarships.

A total of over 500 applications this year of which 379 were received within the cut off date of 30th May 2005 and the applications were categorised under three broad heads: Engineering, Management and General courses. The analysis of the applications received vis-à-vis disability, gender, and zone is given below.

Total

M

F

I.

Total number of applications received for 2005

379

323

56

Break up of the applications subject wise:

Engineering

220

197

23

Management

40

33

7

General

119

93

26

II.

Number of candidates selected

61

30

31

Break up of the applications subject wise:

Engineering

26

13

13

Management

19

12

7

General

16

5

11

From the above, it can be seen that the out of the total of 379 applications received, the overall ratio of male: female is 6:1(approx); (males: 85.22%, females: 14.78%).

A cursory glance at these figures reveals that there have been more male applicants than female in all the three categories. However we find this gap widening as we move from general professional/ post graduate courses to management and finally to engineering. The male female ratio is more diverse in case of engineering than management and general. The male- female ratio for engineering courses is 8.5:1; for management courses is 4.7:1 and for general courses is 3.5: 1. The percentage of female candidates in general courses (21.85%) was much more than the professional courses (10.45% in engg. and 17.5% in mgmt.).

The applications for all the three courses were further analysed on the basis of three perspectives, viz. disability, zone wise representation and gender (as enclosed in the chart). The different types of disability were categorized into four groups viz.; Orthopaedic, Visually Impaired, Speech and Hearing Impaired and Others. The zone wise analysis has been done considering the five Zones, viz. east, west, north, south and northeast.

The analysis of the 379 applications from a disability perspective reveals that the maximum number of applications were received from orthopaedically disabled students. The break up of applicants in order of disability is as follows: 337 applications received from students with orthopaedic disabilities (290 males, 47 females), 24 applications received from students who are visually impaired (18 males, 6 females), 10 applications from candidates with speech and hearing disabilities (8 males, 2 females). One application was received from a female candidate who had burns, and seven applications were received from male candidates who had other disabilities - cerebral palsy, depression and low memory, hemophilia, pituitary dwarfism (2), familiar neuropathy and neglected CTEV.

The applications were also analysed as per the five Zones- north, south, east, west and northeast. The maximum representation was found to be from the south zone (181) followed by north zone (120) and a nearly equal number of candidates from west and east zone i.e. 39 and 31 applications respectively. It is also interesting to note that we received only 8 applications from the northeast and all but one of which were from students pursuing general courses.

The maximum female representation was also from south zone (36) followed by north (12), east (4) and west (3) and the least from northeast zone (1). A glance at the zone wise distribution of females shows the ratio of female applications (south: north: east: west: north-east) to be 12: 4: 1.6: 1: 0.33. Similarly the ratio of the male applications is 20: 15: 4: 5: 1 (approx.).

Most applicants, 97 from the total number of 181 applications from the South were pursuing higher studies in engineering.

Thus it is obvious from this analysis that women have lesser opportunities to access educational facilities vis-à-vis their male counterparts. Disabled women are doubly disabled due to the social barriers they face on account of their gender and economic status and their disability becomes yet another cause of discrimination against them. However, this disparity seems less pronounced in the southern states of India.

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