Srinagar, July 10: A two-day workshop on disability studies started at the University of Kashmir on Monday, even as the varsity signed a key Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote disability sensitisation programmes and holistic understanding of the emerging academic discipline.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Nilofer Khan chaired the inaugural session of the workshop, organised by the Department of English in collaboration with Centre for Disability Research and Training (CDRT), Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.
Addressing academics and students, Prof Nilofer underlined the role of the University in promoting workshops on key aspects related to disability studies to realise its goal of creating a “truly inclusive space for equal academic progression of all the students.”
She said the University will seriously pursue setting up a centre for disability studies to help higher education institutions (HEIs) in the J&K UT to promote this emerging area of academic inquiry in view of its vast societal importance.
The VC congratulated the Department of English for collaborating with CDRT in organising the present work, as well as for signing the MoU with the prestigious Centre. The MoU seeks to promote disability studies as an academic discipline and foster wider understanding about the need to engage students in research on disability studies.
In his keynote address, Prof Someshwar Sati, Coordinator CDRT, referred to the importance of disability studies as an emerging subject of academic inquiry. He said the workshop as well as the MoU aim to study the “complexity” and “complex aspects” of the phenomenon of disability to arrive at a “full understanding” about it.
“With today’s activity, the University of Kashmir has taken a right step to foster intellectual engagement on disability studies,” Prof Sati said.
Dean Academic Affairs, KU, Prof F A Masoodi, who was the guest of honour, also spoke about the workshop theme and its importance for academic institutions.
Earlier, Head, Department of English, Prof Iffat Maqbool, provided a detailed account of the workshop themes and key highlights of the MoU. She also spelt out academic and extracurricular programmes held by the department in the last few years.
Prof Shilpa Das from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and Prof Banibrata Mahanta from Department of English, Banaras Hindu University, are resource persons for the two-day workshop, which is being attended by 70 participants from the University of Kashmir, some of its affiliated colleges as well as few other academic institutions in the J&K UT.
Prof Mufti Mudasir, faculty, Department of English, KU conducted proceedings of the inaugural session and also delivered a vote of thanks.