|Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre is the Realization of the Long Cherished Dream of the Deaf Community
New Delhi: October 4,2011
Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, here today inaugurated the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) at the IGNOU Campus. Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri K.M. Acharya, Secretary (SJ&E), Smt Vibha Puri Das, Secretary (HRD), Professor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, Prof P.R. Ramanujam, Pro Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, Prof Madan Vasishta, Honorary Director, ISLRTC, Shri Ramesh Warlyani, Vice Chairman, National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language(NCPSL) and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Shri Wasnik said that ISLRTC is the realization of the long cherished dream of the deaf community in India. It is an exclusive education project for teaching, learning, training and capacity building for the vast deaf population. It will be a full time teaching and training center for Indian Sign Language combined with distance teaching/learning opportunities. This research centre is the first of its kind in India with centres attached to IGNOU. There will be zonal/regional centers in different geographic regions of the country. The center would consist of short term, medium and full-fledged programmes for both the un-trained and experienced teachers of the deaf schools.
Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment said that in India, as per 2001 census, the population with hearing impairment was over 12.62 Lakhs and as per 58th round of NSSO the hearing impaired population was 30.62 Lakhs. A significant number of deaf persons essentially depend on Sign Language for communication; hence this is an historic occasion, depicting the commitment of the Government to fulfill the needs of the deaf community in India. The inclusion of deaf people in the larger development activity of the country depends significantly on promotion of Sign Language, Shri Mukul Wasnik said. He further said that Sign Language in India is in nascent stage and evolving. Even the reach of it also by far is limited to some pockets of the country. Therefore, we need to think innovatively to reach out to the people who are in need. One such activity could be having Sign Language Clubs. In USA, there is a concept of Sign Language Clubs. These clubs are attached to colleges and universities. Shri Wasnik requested the Director, ISLRTC, to explore the possibilities of having such clubs in India. European Sign Language Centre through the web based computer tool www.spreadthesign.com created a web of itself in 10 European countries. The Minister requested the Director to explore the possibility of creating a web of ISLRTC in our States and UT’s. Information and Communication Technology should be used to its maximum advantage in reaching out to the deaf people, Shri Mukul Wasnik said.