Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
25-July-2011 16:7 IST
Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre to Set up ((ISLRTC))
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has approved the establishment of an Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLRTC), on project basis for a period of five years, as an autonomous Centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi. IGNOU will provide five acres of land available for the Centre in its campus at Maidan Garhi, New Delhi. The Centre will lead the way in the study, academic development, and propagation of Indian Sign Language and in its teaching and training, so that this language gains its rightful linguistic, cultural, educational and social place.

The Government has also accorded approval for creation of 35 posts for the Centre for Department like Sign Linguistics, Interpreting, Library, Documentation and Administration. The Centre will be established at an estimated cost of Rs. 44.00 crore, over five years. The Finance Minister also announced establishment of such a Centre in his Budget Speech for 2010-11.

IGNOU has been a pioneer in open and distance education in the country and provides cost effective quality education. The University also has a National Centre for Disability Studies and is conducting sign language programmes in collaboration with the University of Central Lancashire, UK, under the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). Thus, IGNOU is well-suited to incubate the ISLRTC. Its vast distance education network, including 61 Regional Centres and more than 3000 study Centres will be available to the ISLRTC to expand its outreach.

As per the 2001 Census, there were about 13 lakh deaf & hearing impaired persons in the country. They use Sign Language for communication amongst themselves. Recognizing that existing facilities for systematic study of, and research and training in Indian Sign Language are limited, the Eleventh Five Year Plan had envisaged establishment of an Indian Singh Language Research & Training Centre for development and promotion of the Indian Sign Language, and training of teachers and interpreters.

Representatives of National level organizations of the Deaf, will be duly represented, among others on the Committees which will be responsible for planning and managing the ISLRTC.