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Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre inaugurated in New Delhi

5 October, 2011

The Indian government has inaugurated a new Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) as an autonomous unit within the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), our partner university in India. There is a full video of the ceremony here:

Here are some quotes from the speeches that relate to iSLanDS:

Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resource Development:
Effort has been made by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and
IGNOU to consolidate the culture and language of the Indian deaf community […]
IGNOU’s BA in sign language which is the outcome of the University’s UKIERI
research award in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire – the
UK provided the ambiance and the necessary expertise to locate the Indian Sign
Language Research and Training Centre on the IGNOU campus.

Prof. P.R. Ramanujam, Pro-Vice Chancellor IGNOU: A simple
idea of developing a BA sign language programme through collaboration,
cooperation, trust and commitment between […] two
universities resulted in the creation of BA sign language programme. This is an
outcome of the UKIERI research award given to [IGNOU and] the University of
Central Lancashire. Opportunity and freedom has given us BA sign language – 80
students belonging to three batches of the BA sign language programme; and we
have students from nine countries and faculty from five countries.

K.M. Acharya, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and
Empowerment: We were also very keen that instead of setting it up as a
bureaucratically administered institution, we would like to house it in a
university, where there is academic freedom, where there is synergy, where
there is already an academic environment […] and I think we can already see
that we did not make a wrong decision.

Also see this news article:

Over 500 people attended the event including a majority of deaf Indians, and the national Indian deaf organisations were represented in the opening ceremony and the following seminar. Deaf Indians now have the first right to make this Centre truly their own.

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