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Blatant discrimination against disabled scientist by IIT, Delhi

DNIS News Network Ė Dr. Jain, a disabled scientist, has been denied access to his office and laboratory, and his medical facilities have also been withdrawn. Not only that, his salary has also been withheld. All this in contempt of court orders to the contrary.

IITs are a synonym for quality practices in India. IIT Delhi, however, has shown a serious lack of concern towards disabled persons as is evident in the case of Dr Jain, a disabled scientist working at IIT.

Dr. Jain, a disabled scientist, has been denied access to his office and laboratory, and his medical facilities have also been withdrawn. Not only that, his salary has also been withheld.

Dr. S. K. Jain, contracted polio as an infant, which left him with a severely deformed body, problems with his spinal cord, speech and hearing disabilities. Despite his impairments, he went on to successfully complete his B. Tech and M. Tech, followed by a Ph.D. from IIT Delhi. He was then selected by the UGC to work as a Research Scientist (lecturerís grade) in IIT Delhi in the disability quota from November 29, 1990. On account of his excellent work, he was promoted to the next grade, Scientist B (Readerís grade), in 1996.

In the year 1995-96, the UGC announced that scientists such as Dr. Jain who had been promoted or continued after their first reviews would work till their superannuation, provided their work was satisfactory. However, barely three years after his promotion, Dr. Jain was issued a letter by the UGC communicating their decision to discontinue his tenure with effect from November 29, 2000.

Dr. Jain had moved the Delhi High Court against the dismissal and had been granted a stay against the discontinuation of his services. Following this, the UGC reinstated the services of Dr Jain with full financial benefits from January 29, 2000. IIT, Delhi, has chosen to ignore the courtís stay and continues to deny Dr. Jain access to his workplace and monetary benefits. Not only is this a contempt of Court but also a sustained act of vindictiveness.

It is sad that a prestigious institution such as IIT, Delhi, which should be seeking excellence in all spheres of life, has failed to recognise the achievements of Dr. Jain who is a role model for several aspiring disabled scientists.