An Australian delegation comprising officials from University of Melbourne today called on Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar at his office to discuss various issues related to cooperation in disability sector and the way forward.
The delegation comprising Prof. Michael Wesley, Dy. VC, Prof. M. Ashok Kumar, Assistant Dy. VC, Prof. M.O’ Briyan, Dean Faculty of Science, Prof. Nathan Grills and Ms Lisa Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Australia-India Institute primarily discussed the progress on implementation of the MoU, signed between the Government of India and Government of Australia for cooperation in disability sector on 22 November, 2018. The members of the Australian delegation appreciated the progress made so far in implementing the MoU.
The areas of cooperation in the aforesaid MoU inter-alia include disability policy and delivery of services, early identification and intervention for prevention of disabilities, community outreach, education and training, capacity building and promoting investment in disability sector. University of Melbourne is the implementing agency from the Australian side as designated by the Australian High Commission, New Delhi for implementation of the MoU.
Dr. Virendra Kumar appreciated the contribution of University of Melbourne and DEPwD in developing a six month course on Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) Programme, which has since been rolled out in 16 institutions across the country in a pilot basis. He suggested that once the National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) becomes fully functional, the University of Melbourne could play a significant role in capacity development of the institute through exchange of training programmes.
The Union Minister also observed that both NIMHR and University of Melbourne could work together for undertaking joint research and developing model and Standard Operating Procedure for rehabilitation of persons with mental illness.
Both the sides have also agreed to constitute a Task Force for developing courses/module in rehabilitation sector including mental health rehabilitation. The National Institutes under DEPwD will also collaborate with University of Melbourne under the MoU.
Secretary, DEPwD, Ms Anjali Bhawra and her team comprising Shri Rajesh Yadav and Shri Rajeev Sharma, Joint Secretaries and other officers were present during the discussion with Australian delegation.