Vagisha Kaushik|Jan 13, 2022
IIT Delhi to have a Dean for new Office of Diversity and Inclusion: V Ramgopal Rao
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will work on issues of gender, sexuality, caste, language, disability, and mental health to promote more inclusion.
NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has decided to set up an Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and a Dean position to run the Office in order to “celebrate existing diversity on campus, to document its benefits to the community and to create a more inclusive environment for everyone”.
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IIT Delhi director V Ram Gopal Rao said in an email sent to the institute’s community, “I am pleased to share with you that in its last meeting, our Board of Governors has approved the setting up of a Dean position for Diversity and Inclusion at IIT Delhi. We will establish an Office of Diversity and Inclusion which the new Dean will head.”
Rao said that the establishment of this Office is important as Justice DY Chandrachud put it “Our Constitution, above all, is an essay in the acceptance of diversity. It is founded on a vision of an inclusive society which accommodates plural ways of life.”
IIT Delhi has become the first institute in India to have a Dean leading such an office, Rao claimed.
Goals of Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The ODI aims to work on issues such as gender, sexuality, caste, language, disability and mental health, to promote greater inclusion.
“Much of this work is already being done at the Institute: for example, Initiative for Gender Equality and Sensitization (IGES) has been active for a few years now. The December meeting of SAC approved the setting up of Indradhanu, an LGBTQIA+ collective. Last year, we started providing support to students with disabilities through the Office of Accessible Education (OAE)”.
He also said that the institute’s counselling services have been extended to all members and not just students. “The number of IIT Delhi community members reaching out to them has been rising, indicating a positive change in health seeking behaviour for mental health issues,” he said.
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The Dean of Office of Diversity and Inclusion is expected to provide visibility, leadership and coherence and to ensure that IIT Delhi can do it in a more sustained manner, the mail said.
IIT Delhi also asked for suggestions on activities that the Office can undertake at the email ID - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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