The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi is gearing to establish a diversity & inclusion (D&I) office on campus with the objective of making the campus more inclusive.
V Ramgopal Rao, director , IIT-D has reportedly informed the teachers, students and other employees that the board of governors has officially given its approval for a position of dean – diversity and inclusion at the Institute, to head a special Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
This is a step towards acknowledging and celebrating diversity on the IIT-D campus and further promoting the same. This office will work towards making the campus more inclusive and spreading awareness about the benefits of diversity and inclusion.
In India, IIT-D is probably the first institution to appoint a dean to promote D&I, and create an exclusive office to work with a focus on ensuring D&I in terms of gender, caste, sexuality, language, mental health and disability.
The Institute already has in place a Gender Equality and Sensitisation (IGES) initiative, which was introduced a few years ago. It also has an LGBTQIA+ collective called Indradhanu.
The Institute offers support to students with disabilities via its Office of Accessible Education (OAE). In December 2021, IIT-Delhi celebrated the International Day for Persons with Disabilities by holding various activities under a ‘Challenging Challenges’ event. These activities were aimed at sensitising non-disabled persons, by allowing them to experience the challenges faced by those with disabilities on a daily basis. The activities also aimed to get PwDs to value their abilities.
Additionally, the counselling services at IIT-D are available for students as well as employees and faculty of the Institute, to help ensure better mental health for everyone.