New Delhi (NVI): A historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed today between the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center (ISLRTC) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to make educational materials accessible in Indian sign language.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot and Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.
Speaking on the occasion, Thaawarchand said that the signing of this MoU is a historic step as availability of NCERT textbooks in Indian Sign Language (ISL) will ensure that hearing impaired children can also now access educational resources in Indian Sign Language.
“It will be a useful and much needed resource for hearing impaired students, teachers, teacher educators, parents and the Hearing Impaired community, which in turn will have a huge impact on the education of Hearing Impaired children in the country,” he added.
After this MoU, NCERT educational books and materials will be available in Indian Sign Language which is same all over India, which means all hearing impaired students of India whether from East or West or North or South, they all will read NCERT books in a single language i.e. Indian Sign Language, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment said in a statement.
“Indian Sign Language denotes Unity in Diversity which is explained through Hands and understood through Eyes and it connects all hearing impaired people of our country all together,” it added.
Thaawarchand also said that this MoU is a step towards achieving common goal of fulfilling needs of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 and New Education Policy, 2020.
As part of this understanding, educational print materials such as NCERT textbooks, teachers handbook and other supplementary materials and resources of Class I-XII of all subjects of both Hindi and English Medium will be converted into Indian Sign Language in Digital format.
Meanwhile, Pokhariyal in his address congratulated NCERT on its 60th Foundation Day today and said that signing of MoU between NCERT and ISLRTC for converting educational materials in to Indian sign language ensures educational standardization of Indian Sign Language as mandated in the New Education Policy (NEP), 2020.
He said that DEPwD under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has done remarkable works for the welfare and upliftment of Divyangjan in the country for the past 6 years and many new records have also been made on its achievements.
“Definitely this MoU will empower the hearing impaired children in our country and hope that New Education Policy, 2020 is an inclusive one and will transform our country,” Pokhariyal said.
Secretary, DEPwD, Shakuntala Doley Gamlin, Anita Karwal, Secretary (SE&L), Ministry of Education, Prabodh Seth, Joint Secretary, DEPwD & Director, ISLRTC and Prof Hrushikesh Senapathy, Director, NCERT also signed the MoU from the respective institutes.
Notably, the ISLRTC is an autonomous national institute of DEPwD, MSJE which is dedicated to the task of developing man-power for popularizing the use of Indian Sign Language, teaching and conducting research in Indian Sign Language.
On the other hand, the NCERT is an autonomous organization under MHRD which is responsible for ensuring qualitative improvement in school education by undertaking and promoting research in areas related to school education, the ministry said.
“NCERT also prepares and publish model textbooks, supplementary material, newsletters, journals and develops educational kits, multimedia digital materials, etc,” it added.