The Punjab University has reserved seats for students suffering from AIDS and cancer in various courses in its colleges .
The University has reserved one seat for each of the fifty-six courses that it offers for people affected by AIDS or suffering from cancer.
However, the university feels that one seat reserved in every course will be sufficient for the time being, since it do not expects many patients queuing up for the seat.
"I don't wish that there should be too many patients as for the time being we have reserved one seat and it will be extended if necessary," said Vice Chancellor of the University, R C Sobti.
The university will not reveal the identities of the students who will be admitted under the new reservation criteria, and a total secrecy of identities will be maintained to ensure that those students do not get harassed or suffer from any social stigma.
Meanwhile, students at the university have welcomed the move.
"I don't have any problem with it and I don't think my classmates will also have a problem with it. And I do think it is a good step that they have taken," said Arjun
Khanna, a first year graduation student.
Recently, a new U N backed government estimate has put the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in India at 2.47 million, less than half of previous official estimates.
And although the country reported its first case over 20 years ago, many still face acute stigma due to a lack of awareness and misconceptions about the disease.
"I mean they (AIDS and Cancer patients) have equal rights to get educated. A disease shouldn't stop anyone from getting educated," said Kanval Chaddha, another college student.
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