Wednesday, July 4, 2018

American Firm to pay $100,000 to Ashok Pai, an Indian-origin employee over Discrimination Lawsuit

New Delhi, 4th July 2018

Here is an important case law from USA wherein an American firm will end up paying $100,000 (One lac US Dollars) to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of an Indian-origin employee, the agency said on July 2. 

Federal contractor Camber Corporation was accused of violating federal law when it denied a transfer to employee Mr. Ashok Pai based on his son's medical condition and then fired him.  Such alleged behaviour violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the EEOC said in its suit. Besides a $100,000 award for lost wages, the two-year decree entered by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Trenga to resolve the case includes injunctive relief to prevent disability and age discrimination from occurring at the company in the future.

According to the EEOC, Pai's son sustained serious injuries in a car accident as a child, due to which he has been disabled for more than 25 years. Pai sought a transfer to work nearer to where his son lived and requested leave to assist with his care. However, after the management learned that Pai was seeking a transfer to take care of his son, Camber classified him as "resigned," began processing termination paperwork and ultimately fired him for pretextual reasons, the EEOC said. Pai, who was then in his mid-60s, was subsequently replaced by someone over 20 years younger than him.

Camber Corporation is headquartered in Huntsville, Ala. The discrimination against Pai took place in Falls Church, Va., where he worked. The EEOC filed its suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"When employers violate the law, the EEOC will hold them accountable. We are pleased that the parties were able to reach a resolution to better protect the rights of employees under federal law," EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a statement.

"The ADA not only prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities, it also bans discrimination against employees and applicants based on their association with a person with a disability - for good reasons," Washington Field Office Acting Director Mindy Weinstein said. "Mr. Pai simply asked for a transfer to help deal with his son's severe disability, and the company made a bad situation worse by punishing him for trying to do the right thing and showing age bias at the same time. The EEOC is here to fight for the rights of people like Ashok Pai."

Other Media Reports:

1. NDTV 
3. The Telegraph

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Jeeja's Child adoption story raises hopes for many others

Jeeja Ghosh - is another name for perseverance and doggedness when it comes to fighting out for rights.  And she has shown it once again that if you stand for what is right, perseverance pays.

Jeeja, a fellow disability rights activist has been married for around five years now. Resident of Ballygunge she has broken many ceilings and has had many firsts. The 48-year-old added one more to the list last week, becoming the first person born with cerebral palsy in Kolkata — and possibly India — to become an adoptive mom.
Jeeja Ghosh with Hiya (adopted daughter)
(Source- Facebook)

Motherhood was a dream that Jeeja, born with the disabling condition, nursed since she tied the knot in 2013. But little did she know about the hurdles she would have to face before being considered fit for adopting a five-month-old girl. On 7th June 2018, after an epic struggle, Jeeja welcomed home a girl child — lovingly called Bhujungu and Sonai at home — to her ninth-floor flat at the Saptaparni complex on Ballygunge Circular Road.

Jeeja, a Presidency College graduate and Delhi University postgraduate, and her husband, Bappaditya Nag, a law officer at Syndicate Bank, applied for adoption in 2016. Madhusmita Nayak, programme manager for the specialized adoption agency project at Keonjhar’s Self-Realisation Mission (SRM), from where the child was adopted, said the baby was born in January 2018 and was abandoned at a Keonjhar hospital. “We don’t know about her biological parents,” Nayak said.

It was love at first sight for the couple when they saw the yet-unnamed child at SRM. But it needed multiple trips to Keonjhar to convince the adoption committee that Jeeja could be a responsible care-giver. “We submitted a fit certificate from a gynecologist but even after that the committee told us this certificate was not acceptable because it had to be issued by a ‘medical practitioner’,” Nag said.

It was an uphill struggle since then and, after numerous mails and reminders, the couple finally escalated the matter to Dr Sadaf Nazneen, consultant (eastern region), Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).

On Tuesday, Dr Sadaf Nazneen, of CARA told TOI, “It needs to be checked whether the couple is emotionally, physically and financially suitable to adopt a child. This was the first case where a parent with cerebral palsy was keen on adoption. It will remain as a reference point for other such applications in future. Some questions might have seemed uncomfortable but they were perhaps asked to judge the suitability of the family adopting the baby.”

Jeeja Ghosh and her husband, however, do not buy this argument. “I felt so humiliated with the questions they asked. The district child protection officer described cerebral palsy as a ‘mental disease’ and expressed apprehensions about my communication skills. I fail to understand how someone in that position can have such ideas,” Ghosh alleged.

TOI spoke to the officer, Debangana Barik, who said she “did not want to hurt” Ghosh at all. “My language issue might have created a problem. I am very impressed with her personality and she is completely fit to take care of the baby. Her adoption case is a success story for all of us here,” Barik added. But the new parents’ legal work is still not over. Bhujungu is, legally, in Ghosh’s and Nag’s foster care right now. “We are going to file a court application in Keonjhar soon and, within 60 days of that, we expect to get the order that will make us her legal parents,” Ghosh said.

The Saptaparni flat has undergone a sea change, with nappies, oil cloth and feeding bottles strewn all over the drawing room. Both parents are on leave now. Bhujungu has a twinkle in her eyes when Jeeja rocks the pram. She tilts her head and then lazily rests her little toes on the pram handle. Friends and relatives are dropping by regularly with cartloads of gifts for the little one. Nag, too, is a complete hands-on father, from feeding Bhujungu to cleaning her when she soils herself. Ghosh’s octogenarian mother, a dementia patient, is thrilled. Seated in a wheelchair close to the pram, she intermittently utters the baby’s name aloud. On rare occasions, when memory serves her right, seeing Ghosh and her daughter is a reminder for the old lady of her own motherhood tales of fighting against odds to bring up a daughter.

Jeeeja's successful adoption of a child has set a benchmark and given hope to several persons with disabilities that they, too, can become parents.

Source:
Times of India, Kolkata 13 June 18: Kolkata woman may be first with cerebral palsy to adopt a baby
Times of India, Kolkata 14 June 18: Disabled persons see beacon of hope in Jeeja adoption story

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

No funds for new projects that don't include accessibility features in buildings - says Finance Minstry

Dear Colleagues,

In a welcome initiative, the Finance Ministry has, in compliance with Section 40 & 44 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, which are reproduced below,  made it mandatory for all new projects to include accessibility features in the costing of the total project cost when proposals are sent for expenditure finance committee approvals. No funds will be release for projects that don't include accessibility components. 

"40. Accessibility.—The Central Government shall, in consultation with the Chief Commissioner, formulate rules for persons with disabilities laying down the standards of accessibility for the physical environment, transportation, information and communications, including appropriate technologies and systems, and other facilities and services provided to the public in urban and rural areas.

44. Mandatory observance of accessibility norms.—(1) No establishment shall be granted permission to build any structure if the building plan does not adhere to the rules formulated by the Central Government under section 40.
(2) No establishment shall be issued a certificate of completion or allowed to take occupation of a building unless it has adhered to the rules formulated by the Central Government"

The department of expenditure has directed all ministries to include “special measures proposed to meet needs of persons with disabilities, including accessibility requirements under the Right of Persons with Disabilities Act” in new construction projects.  The measures would be included in all inter-ministerial consultation notes and in the final expenditure finance committee (EFC) note. In the format of EFC notes for appraisal of schemes, the department of expenditure amended its earlier guidelines to include an additional para. 

This comes into immediate effect. The ministries/ departments are requested to accordingly circulate EFC memos for inter-ministerial consultations after incorporating measures to meet needs of persons with disabilities,” the amended guideline directed. 

The department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPwD) has been pushing for this inclusion for some time. Speaking to ET, DEPwD joint secretary Dolly Chakraborty said, “Any new construction project – like a flyover where pedestrian crossings are being planned or overbridges or a new government building – would now have in-built accessibility features. Harmonised guidelines have been issued to have common features. Now it would be mandatory to include these within the planning stage.” .. This, Chakraborty said, would help to make physical environment more accessible as retrofitting later has always been a financial and design challenge. 



Friday, January 26, 2018

Rights Activists Want ICT To Be Made More Inclusive for Persons With Disabilities

Submissions made to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India seek stringent, legally-binding provisions covering all players in the sector.

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar | The Wire | January 26, 2018

New Delhi: Disability rights activists have called for a stringent policy to ensure persons with disabilities are able to access with ease both the software and hardware when it comes using information and communication technology (ICT).

With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issuing a consultation paper on ‘Making ICT Accessible for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)’ on December 20, 2017, and seeking comments from the stakeholders by January 22, 2018, a number of disability rights groups have made their submissions.

“For achieving a truly inclusive information society, persons with disabilities must be able to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) with equal ease. This can be made possible only if the accessibility of ICTs is on the top of the agenda of manufacturers and service providers. Though it makes business sense to attract persons with disabilities with ICTs having accessibility features, manufacturers failed to tap this opportunity. Hence, a stringent policy is required to ensure persons with disabilities get what they need,” said noted disability rights activist and director of Svayam, Subhash Chandra Vashishth.

Incidentally, the World Bank Report (2007) titled ‘People with disabilities in India: from commitments to outcomes’ had stated that “there is growing evidence that people with disabilities comprise between 4 and 8 percent of the Indian population”. Further, the population of senior citizens in the country ranges between 10-12%. Put together, these aspects raise the need for making ICT inclusive for improving the quality of life of the PwDs.

Both software, hardware not complying with guidelines

In its submission to TRAI, Svayam has noted that often the websites, software and mobile apps from vendors and service providers do not comply with accessibility guidelines. This makes them inaccessible for visually impaired persons who make use of assistive technologies like screen reading software, braille displays, etc.

It has also pointed out that “most electronic hardware products like Set-Top-Box (STB), smart home solutions, etc. are not usable for persons with disabilities as they don’t comply with international accessibility standards e.g. the buttons on most of these devices do not possess any tactile notations and audio feedback to allow visually impaired users to interact with them.

Policies lack budgeting support

Most policies are simple guidelines and often lack appropriate budgetary or funding support for implementation and penalty for non-adherence. This leads to lesser efforts towards compliance, the organisation noted.

Moreover, it said, most guidelines are made applicable only for government entities and not to all establishments. “However, needs of persons with disabilities in their day-to-day lives span beyond services and products offered by government entities.”

As for the financial support for maturity and survival of products that benefit PwDs, it said either such mechanisms “do not exist or are very low and ineffective.”

Stating that “a comprehensive plan is needed to adopt an accessible operating system for product development and service divisions to include everyone,” Vashishth said issuing of the consultation paper was a step in the right direction.

As for telecom regulator TRAI, he said, it has highlighted in the paper that an equal and inclusive society involves providing equal opportunities to all sections of society irrespective of their physical, economic, social or religious identity in all spheres of life and this covers education, skill development, economic empowerment and ensuring full participation of all persons including PwDs.

While programmes such as ‘Digital India’ envisage inclusive growth and a digitally empowered society, the benefits of ICT have not reached all the sections so far. At a time when mobile phones are also being used to access information, avail of various services, the need of the hour is promoting digital inclusion for enabling PwDs to lead independent and dignified lives.

With the new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 raising the disability categories from seven to 21, “this presents an opportunity for all the stakeholders (disability/accessibility activists, NGOs, etc.) to mull over the concern areas and help the government on how to make ICT accessible for persons with disabilities,” said Vashishth.

‘Include user groups in research, product development’

Founder-chairperson of Svayam, Sminu Jindal, said “there is a massive lack of awareness among the stakeholders as well as credible research on ICT for persons with disabilities. Non-inclusion of user groups in research and product development is another issue which should be addressed. We also need aggressive public campaigns for awareness and sustained advocacy to enforce stringent accessible ICT policies.”

On the key areas of concern, Svayam has noted among other things that there is an absence of periodic stakeholder coordination; lack of harmony between policies and the regulation across the world to adhere to uniform standards; lack of research and development, lack of aggressive campaigning for accessible ICTs, lack of direct involvement of PwDs in product development; high cost of specialised assistive technology; high import taxes and no subsidy or incentives being provided to the manufacturers from the government.

It has, therefore, suggested that “all establishments” should be covered by all the provisions in the policies concerning access to PwDs; the provisions should be made “mandatory” and legally binding instead of remaining mere guidelines; clauses specifying substantial penalties for non-adherence should be incorporated; definition of “everyday use products” should be clearly defined and detailed to cover products used for personal use, at home, office and in public infrastructure.

TRAI should set up a helpline for complaints

It has also suggested that TRAI set up a helpline where only complaints regarding accessibility can be received. “The data of complaints and action taken should be made available on TRAI portal as such data can help frame and reform policies in larger interest.”

For making it easier for all PwDs to access ICT products, the group has also suggested that all products that have a display screen and interactive touch screen should be made accessible. “This includes set top box, point of sale (POS) machines, scanners, everyday use products such as washing machines, microwave, air conditioners, refrigerators, all types of vending machines, self-service public devices used in shopping malls, airports, railway ticketing, printers including 3D printers, scanners, lifts, elevators, and musical instruments.”

Focus on regional languages as well

With India being culturally and linguistically diverse, the organisation has also demanded that ICT services in regional language be started for wider reach as at present most of the assistive technology and software is not available in them.

It has also called for funding “futuristic technologies”. “Recently, Microsoft was granted a patent for a brain control device that can give users mind control powers to operate apps with just their brains, without any movement. Using sensor-equipped head bands, the device could ideally interpret neurological data to have users open and use apps with thoughts instead of gestures,” it pointed out.

Stating that “accessible ICTs are very much possible, and have the potential to significantly touch many lives enhancing their productivity,” Jindal said if necessary steps are taken now, it would “enable persons with disabilities to contribute to the GDP and live a dignified and happy life.”

Source: The Wire 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

CISF amends guidelines to avoid humiliating security checks at Airports for people with disabilities

No X-ray screening for disabled at airports  (Times of India) 

Jasjeev Gandhiok | TNN | Updated: Oct 14, 2017, 

NEW DELHI: People with disabilities won't have to face lengthy and "humiliating" security checks at airports anymore, with the Central Industrial Security Force issuing guidelines on how to scan passengers on wheelchairs and those wearing prosthetics. While earlier, PWDs were required to go through an X-ray screening, now checking with a hand-held explosive trace detector (ETD) device will suffice. Passengers will be asked to go through an X-ray screening only if there is "sufficient doubt".

In addition, they won't have to remove their prosthetic limbs for security check. The decision came after a meeting was held on Wednesday between officials of CISF, the airport sector, BCAS and the ministry of civil aviation and representatives of NGOs working for PWD rights.

Earlier, a committee had been constituted to review the security-check process based on BCAS provisions to make it more "friendly" for PWDs. Officials said standard operating procedures would soon be formulated, which will be used across all 59 airports under CISF.

"All issues were addressed at the meeting, following which it was decided to tweak the system of frisking of such passengers. Now, a visual inspection and an ETD hand-held device scanning will suffice while wheelchair-bound passengers will also get relief," said O P Singh, CISF DG.

CISF officials said the screening officer would also be required to make an entry into a register each time he subjected a PWD passenger to an X-ray screening, stating the reason for doing so. "We are looking at any technological aid that can further make this process easier. CISF personnel at all 59 airports will now be trained and sensitized according to the new procedures," Singh added.

Disability rights activists welcomed the move, saying it was long overdue. "It's humiliating to get off the wheelchair and remove prosthetics for scanning. More people will look forward to flying again," said Javed Abidi, director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People.

Suvarna Raj, a wheelchair-bound para-athlete who has often faced inconvenience at airports, said the move would lead to greater accountability.

Source: Times of India 



CISF: Disabled no longer have to remove prosthetics for airport security  (DNA India) 

In a major relief to the disabled, the CISF will no longer carry out the "humiliating" airport security drill of asking people with disabilities (PWDs) to remove their prosthetics or make them get up from their wheelchair for screening at the airports. The announcement was made by the CISF Director General OP Singh.

The DG said that the Central Industrial Security Force will now use explosive trace detectors (ETDs) and visual profiling to meet the security needs. The Force will also conduct a country-wide survey to find out how many such passengers travel by air each day.

"The aim is to ensure that such passengers do not face any humiliation or uneasiness when they travel through Indian airports. We have seen numerous complaints in this regard. What we have decided now is to use explosive trace detectors and the visual profiling method of the passenger and his prosthetic tool or wheelchair rather than asking them to take out everything," Singh said.

The current procedure is to ask passengers to take off their prosthetics before boarding a flight and ask to get up from those on a wheelchair.

"We are soon going to issue a fresh list of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to usher the new regime in a uniform manner," the DG said.

"We will also conduct a survey at all the 59 airports that we guard to see how many such PWD passengers we receive on an average. That will give us a fair idea as to how to go about implementing the new SOPs."

A senior official in the CISF airport sector said they have estimated that about eight-10 such passengers use Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) every day, the busiest airport in the country.

"Passengers with prosthetics will be asked to remove them only under compelling circumstances which will be purely security concerns. The same procedure will be adopted for wheelchair-bound passengers and those with other disabilities," the official said.

The director general added that CISF was also looking at "simplifying the security procedures for passengers with orthopaedic issues."

In case of prosthetics with foam padding, he said, CISF personnel will use new SOPs but can seek its removal, keeping in mind security concerns.

Disability rights activist Javed Abidi, who attended a recent meeting with the CISF authorities on the subject, raised his concerns during a recent conversation.

"I have travelled across the globe for so many years now but only at an Indian airport do I have to get down from my wheelchair so that the security personnel on duty can put it inside a large X-Ray machine to check it against explosives and other hazardous material that can be a threat to the aircraft or aviation security," Abidi, the convener of the Disabled Rights Group, said.

It is very difficult and embarrassing, he said, for people who have prosthetic or artificial limbs to take out the entire part in full public view inside an airport.

The CISF is the central paramilitary force tasked with guarding 59 civil airports in the country.

Source: DNA India


Friday, October 13, 2017

Bureau of Civil Aviation and Security Allows for X-Ray Scanning for PwDs as Measure of Last Resort

The developments assume significance as in the past, several persons with disabilities have suffered humiliation at the hands of security or airlines staff at airports across India.

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar | The Wire | October 13, 2017

New Delhi: The long fight of disability rights activists for making air travel more friendly and sensitive towards the needs of persons with disability (PwD) appears to have finally borne some fruit.  The Bureau of Civil Aviation and Security (BCAS) has accepted the recommendations of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to use X-ray scanning for prosthetics and orthotics only as a measure of the last resort. Instructions have also been issued to make wheelchair users get up from their chairs only in exceptional cases for security checks.

The decision was made known at a meeting convened by director general of the CISF, O.P. Singh, on October 11, which had representatives of the BCAS, Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Air Passengers Association of India and representatives of the disability sector. The meeting, which lasted close to 90 minutes, was attended by top members of the CISF along with its senior officers deployed at the airports.

Among those present in the meeting were Javed Abidi, director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), cyclist Aditya Mehta, Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Rajesh Bhatia, Nipun Malhotra and associate professor of physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, Satendra Singh.

Instances of humiliation of PwDs

The developments assume significance as in the past, several PwDs have suffered humiliation at the hands of security or airlines staff at airports across India. In 2013, above-knee amputee and marketing professional Suranjana Ghosh Aikara was made to take off her prosthetic leg for a scan at both Delhi and Mumbai airports.

Anjlee Agarwal of the Samarthyam National Centre for Accessible Environments, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, faced two odd situations in early 2012; first, when she was bodily lifted by male porters and the other, when she was carted around on a luggage trolley. Her experience made her seek more dignified travel for PwD travellers..

SC had issued directives

In 2012, Jeeja Ghosh, a teacher at the Indian Institute for Cerebral Palsy in Kolkata, was made to deplane because the staff found her to be ‘abnormal’. Following her appeal, the Supreme Court constituted a committee and directed the DGCA and the BCAS to consult with disabled section of India’s population.

However, according to Singh, despite directions by the apex court, the BCAS continues to evade this directive. However, Singh lauded the role being played by the CISF, saying it continued to “remain receptive”. Singh also noted that the BCAS had chosen to remain absent from the high-level meeting chaired by the director general of the DGCA with the Airports Authority of India, all the airlines and the disability sector on April 7 this year.

However, Abidi appreciated the change in the approach of both the CISF and the BCAS towards the issue. “There has been a lot of discussion and exchange of notes between the CISF and BCAS of late. It was a well-rounded meeting, almost a closure type, and I was impressed by the seriousness of purpose. It was called to problem-solve and to bring about a change,” he said.

BCAS constituted a panel to look into demands of PwDs

Stating that the CISF has already sent its recommendations to the BCAS and that the latter had constituted a committee which held its meeting a few days ago, Abidi said that the CISF had only invited one user of prosthetics and another from the wheelchair lobby from the diverse disability sector. “So the focus was more on prosthetics and the concerns of the wheelchair users”, he said.

As for other categories of PwDs, he said, they too suffer problems but these are not related to security and need to be handled by the civil aviation ministry and other agencies. “The visually impaired are facing a big problem these days since all the airports have been made sound-free and therefore, the announcement of change of gate for departure of flight is not made through loudspeakers. So a blind person is unable to know that the gate has been changed,” Abidi said.

“Similarly, persons with speech impairment find it difficult to tell their preferences to the airlines staff or about food preference to the air-stewards,” he added.

X-ray to be used as a last resort

Acknowledging that the users of prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchairs remain among the worst affected, Abidi said that the new developments are very positive. “Broadly, it has been decided that in the case of wheelchair users, X-ray should be the last option. The standard practice globally was to profile the passengers, frisk them, make them go through the explosive trace detectors (ETD) if need be and to send their gadgets for X-rays if there was greater suspicion,” he said.

“The world over, X-ray is rarest of rare and in all my travels abroad, even to the US in the post 9/11 era, never have I been asked to get off my wheelchair. However, in Indian airports, it is a norm”, Abidi said. Moreover, he lamented, unlike airports abroad, the CISF personnel have been following the norm of making wheelchair users get off their chairs as part of the security drill. So what is rarest of rare the world over, is their preferred norm here,” he added.

Abidi said the blame should not be placed on the CISF alone. “What should also be remembered is that while the CISF drew the flak, the policies are actually drawn up by the BCAS, which prepares the manual and instructions. So the real change has to occur not with the CISF but with the BCAS.”

The rights activist is hopeful that meaningful changes are being effected. He pointed out how the CISF recently undertook a full training programme for its personnel to sensitise them towards autism. The programme was conducted in association with Merry Barua’s organisation, Action for Autism. “It had sensitised the CISF personnel about the behaviour and concerns of passengers suffering from autism and how they were like to react in different situations“, Abidi said.

Source: The Wire

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

CBSE finds many of its affiliated Schools not inclusive, lack special educators

Dear Colleagues,

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has pulled up its schools for not adhering to affiliation rules that make appointment of special educators to cater to differently-abled students compulsory.

Appointment of special educators was made mandatory in 2015 under rule 13(11) of the board’s affiliation by-laws to promote inclusion of students with disabilities/special needs in schools according to the provisions of the “Persons with Disabilities Act 1995” and in conformity with the National Policy of Education. 

Observing that many schools were not following the rule, Jaiprakash Chaturvedi, Deputy Secretary (Affiliation), said in a recent circular, “The management and the head of CBSE-affiliated schools are hereby directed to strictly follow the provisions and arrange to appoint special educators in schools.” He added that the schools will have to inform their managing committees about the provision for stricter compliance. 

But Mumbai schools have expressed that it was difficult to meet this condition. DAV School, New Panvel, has been advertising for a special educator for the last two years, but did not find any qualified professionals. “We have been trying to hire a special educator since 2015. This year, we advertised twice but still did not get anyone good,” said Jayashree Khandekar, principal of the school. 

Educators blamed it on the lack of courses available for special education. In Mumbai, only SNDT Women’s University, Churchgate and Juhu, offer a full course in special education, while few other private colleges offer short-term certificate courses. 

There are barely 300 special educators in the state for more than 16 lakh children with learning disabilities, said Dr Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist who suggested that instead of mandatory appointments, the board can train regular teachers on basic remedial education. “This way, the existing faculty can be used for remediation, while authorised centres can carry out the tests,” he said. He said the human resource development ministry needed to start more courses on special education. 

Some city schools are using counsellors in place of special educators or hiring them part-time. “We are unable to find full-time special educators, so our counsellor helps in remediation,” said Deepshika Srivastava. She added that although teachers have been sensitized in identifying students with learning disability, they could not pay individual attention to all because there were 40 to 50 students in each class.


Friday, June 23, 2017

DoPT Proposes to Revise Reservation Policy for Persons with Disabilities: seeks suggestions

Dear colleagues,

Ever since the enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, particularly after it was brought in to effect on 19th April, 2017, lot of concerns have been raised by the stakeholders, various High Courts and the Supreme Court of India as to how the existing policy framework will be tuned to the requirements of the new Act. The pace has been very slow warranting the courts to issue directives

After the new Act, several new disabilities have been added in to the list who could now claim rights of reservations in jobs and reasonable accommodations for them to be able to perform jobs on an equal basis with others. The DoPT, which is cadre controlling authority for central civil services and other allied services has put out a notice dated 20 June 2017 seeking suggestions on the comprehensive memorandum on implementing reservations for persons with disabilities.

The notification and the draft memorandum on the subject are pasted below in accessible format for general information. It can also be directly accessed in PDF format from the link: Notification seeking suggestions dt 20.06.2017

No.36035/02/2017-Estt (Res) 
Government of India 
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions 
Department of Personnel & Training

North Block, New Delhi
Dated : 20.06.2017

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Sub: Reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities – Suggestions; if any, from all concerned including general public.

The undersigned is directed to enclose a copy of draft instructions bringing them in line with THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016' with regard to reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities in the posts/services Under the Central Government.

2. The issue of reservation in promotion for persons with Disabilities is sub-judice in various cases in the Hon’ble Supreme Court including Civil Appeal No.1567/2017 titled Siddaraju Vs State of. Karnataka & Ors and Review Petition (C) No.36/2017 tagged with it.

3.It is requested that the draft instructions may be examined and suggestions, if any, may be sent to this Department within 15 days of the issue of this Office Memorandum through e-mail only at q.sreenivasannic.in and debabrata.d13nic.in

(Raju Sarawat)
Under Secretary to the Govt.of India.
Tel No : 011-23040279
011-23093074

---------------------

No.36035/02/2017-Estt (Res) 
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 
MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PUBLIC GRIEVANCES & PENSIONS 
DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL & TRAINING

North Block, New Delhi
Dated  the June,2017

DRAFT OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject: Reservation for the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities – reg.

With the notification of ‘THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016’ on 28th December, 2016, which took effect from 19th day of April, 2017, the following instructions are issued in line with the provisions made in this Act regarding reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities in the posts/services of the Central Government. Notwithstanding anything contained in the earlier instructions issued so far on the subject, the following instructions shall prevail in case of any contradiction with previous instructions issued so far.

2. QUANTUM OF RESERVATION

(i)  In case of direct recruitment, four per cent of the total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts i.e A, B, C and D shall be reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities of which, one per cent each shall be reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses (a), (b) and (c) and one per cent, for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses (d) to (e), namely:-
  • blindness and low vision;
  • deaf and hard of hearing;
  • locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attacks victims and muscular dystrophy;
  • autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
  • multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness, 

in the posts identified for each disabilities.

(ii)  In case of promotion, four per cent of total number of vacancies in the cadre strength in each group of posts i.e Group D and C posts, in which the element of direct  recruitment if any, does not exceed 75%, shall be reserved for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities of which one per cent each shall be reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses (a), (b) and (c) and one  per cent, for persons with benchmark disabilities under clauses (d) to (e), namely:-

  • blindness and low vision;
  • deaf and hard of hearing;
  • locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured,dwarfism, acid attacks victims and muscular dystrophy;
  • autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
  • multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness,

in the posts identified for each disabilities.

3. EXEMPTION FROM RESERVATION:

If any Department/Ministry in the Central Government considers it necessary to exempt any establishment partly or fully from the provisions of reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities, it shall make a reference to the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities giving full justification for the proposal, who having regard to the type of work carried out in any Government establishment by notification and subject to such condition, if any, as may be specified in the notification, in consultation with the Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) may exempt any Establishment from the provisions of reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities.

4. IDENTIFICATION OF JOBS /POSTS: The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have identified the jobs/posts suitable to be held by persons with benchmark disabilities and the physical requirement for all such jobs/posts vide their Notification No.16-15/2010-DD-III dated 29th July, 2013. The jobs /posts given in Annexure C of the said notification to be amended from time to time shall be used to give effect to four per cent reservation to the persons with benchmark disabilities. It may, however, be noted that:


  • The nomenclature used for any job/ post shall mean and include nomenclature used for other comparable jobs/posts having identical functions.
  • The list of jobs/posts notified by the Department of Empowerment of. Persons with Disabilities is not exhaustive. The concerned Ministries/ Departments shall have the discretion to identify jobs / posts in addition to the jobs/ posts already identified by Department of Empowerment of Persons with -Disabilities. However, no Ministry/Department/Establishment shall exclude any identified job/post from the purview of reservation at its own discretion.
  • If a job/ post identified for persons with benchmark disabilities is shifted from one group or grade to another group or grade due to change in the pay-scale or otherwise, the job/ post shall remain identified.

5. RESERVATION IN POSTS IDENTIFIED FOR ONE OR TWO OR MORE CATEGORIES:

If a post is identified suitable only for one category of benchmark disability, reservation in that post shall be given to that category of persons with that benchmark disability only. Reservation of 4% shall not be reduced in such cases and total reservation in the post will be given to persons suffering from that benchmark disability for which it has been identified. Likewise in case the post is identified suitable for two or more categories of benchmark disabilities, —reservation shall be distributed between persons with those categories of benchmark disabilities equally, as far as possible. It shall, however, be ensured that reservation in different posts in the establishment is distributed in such a way that the persons of all categories of benchmark disabilities, as far as possible, get representation to the posts identified for them.

6. APPOINTMENT AGAINST UNRESERVED VACANCIES:

In the posts which are identified suitable for persons with disabilities, a person with disability cannot be denied the right to compete for appointment against an unreserved vacancy, Thus a person with disability can be appointed against an unreserved vacancy, provided the post is identified suitable for persons with disability of the relevant category.

7. ADJUSTMENT OF CANDIDATES SELECTED ON THEIR OWN MERIT:

In the posts which are identified suitable for persons with benchmark disabilities, a person with benchmark disability cannot be denied the right to compete for appointment against an unreserved vacancy. Thus a person with benchmark disability can be appointed against an unreserved vacancy, provided the post is identified suitable for persons with benchmark disability of the relevant category.

Persons with benchmark disabilities selected on their own merit without relaxed standards along with other candidates, will not be adjusted against the reserved share of vacancies. The reserved vacancies will be filled up separately from amongst the eligible candidates with benchmark disabilities which will thus comprise persons with benchmark disability candidates who are lower in merit than the last candidate in merit list but otherwise found suitable for appointment, if necessary, by relaxed standards. It will apply in case of direct recruitment as well as promotion, wherever reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities is admissible.

8. SPECIFIED DISABILITY:

Following are the specified disabilities for the purpose of applicability of reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities:

1. Physical disability:-

A. Visual impairment-

(a) “blindness” means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, after best correction-
(i)   total absence of sight; or
(ii)  visual acuity le.ss than 3/60 or less than 10/200 (Suellen} in the better eye with best possible correction; or
(iii)    limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than 10 degree,
(b) “low-vision” means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, namely:-
(i)  visual acuity not exceeding 6/18 or less than 20/60 upto 3/60 or upto 10/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with best possible corrections; or
(ii)    limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than 40 degree up to 10 degree.
B. Hearing impairment-

  • “deaf” means persons having 70 DB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears;
  • “hard of hearing” means person having 60 DB to 70 DB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears;


C. Locomotor disability (a person’s inability to execute distinctive activities associated with movement of self and objects resulting from affliction of musculoskeletal or nervous system or both), including-

(a) “leprosy cured person” means a person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from-
(i) loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity;
(ii) manifest deformity and paresis but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity;
(iii) extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevents him/her from undertaking any gainful occupation,and the expression “leprosy cured” shall construed accordingly;
(b) “cerebral palsy” means a Group of non-progressive neurological condition affecting body movements and muscle coordination, caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring before, during or shortly after birth;

(c) “dwarfism” means a medical or genetic condition resulting in an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches (147 centimeters) or less;

(d) “muscular dystrophy” means a group of hereditary genetic muscle disease that weakens the muscles that move the human body and persons with multiple dystrophy have incorrect and missing information in their genes, which prevents them from making the proteins they need for healthy muscles. It is characterised by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue;

(e)  “acid attack victims”  means a person disfigured due to violent assaults by throwing of acid or similar corrosive substance.

D. Intellectual disability, a condition characterised by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning (rasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behaviour which covers a range of every day, social and practical skills, including-

(a) “specific learning disabilities” means a heterogeneous group of  conditions wherein there is a deficit in processing language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself as a difficulty to comprehend, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations and includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and developmental aphasia;

(b)”autism spectrum disorder” means a neuro-developmental condition typically appearing in the first three years of life that significantly affects a person’s ability to communicate, understand relationships and relate to others, and is frequently associated with unusual or stereotypical rituals or behaviours.

Mental behaviour-
“mental illness” means a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment,behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, but does not include retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterised by subnormality of intelligence.

E. Multiple Disabilities (more than one of the above specified disabilities) including deaf blindness which means a condition in which a person may have combination of hearing and visual impairments causing severe communication, developmental, and educational problems.

9. DEGREE OF DISABILITY FOR RESERVATION: Only “person with benchmark disability” would be eligible for reservation in posts/services with not less than forty per cent of a specified disability where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority. A person who wants to avail of benefit of reservation will have to submit a Disability Certificate issued by a Competent Authority.

10. Application for disability certificate

(1) Any person with specified disability may apply in FORM–I for a disability certificate either online through Unique Disability Identity Portal (www.swavlambancard.gov.in) or submit the physical application to –
(a) a medical authority or any other notified competent authority to  issue such a certificate in the district of the applicant’s residence as mentioned in the proof of residence in the application; or
(b) the concerned medical authority in a government hospital where he may be undergoing or may have undergone treatment in connection with his disability:
Provided that where a person with disability is a minor or suffering from intellectual disability or any other disability which renders him unfit or unable to make such an application himself, the application on his behalf may be made by his legal guardian.

(2) The application shall be accompanied by-

  • proof of residence;
  • two recent passport size photographs; and
  • aadhar number or aadhar enrolment number, if any
  • No other proof of residence shall be required from the applicant who has aadhar enrolment number.


11. Issue of disability certificate

(i)   On receipt of an online application as mentioned above, the medical authority shall, verify the information as provided by the applicant and shall assess the disability in terms of the relevant guidelines issued by the Central Government and after satisfying himself that the applicant is a person with disability, issue a disability certificate in his favour through the UDID portal.

Provided that the State Governments or UT Administration shall continue to issue certificate of disability manually for a period of six months.

(ii)For applications other than online mode, the medical authority shall ensure that application is converted to the online mode and shall follow the same procedure as mentioned above for issuing of disability certificate.

(iii) The disability certificate shall be issued within a month from the date of receipt of the application by the medical authority.

(iv) The medical authority shall, after due examination –
(a) Issue a permanent disability certificate in cases where there are  no chances of variation over time in the degree of disability; or
(b) give a temporary disability certificate and indicate the period  of validity in the certificate, in cases where there is any chance of variation over time in the degree of disability.
(v) If an applicant is found ineligible for issue of disability certificate, the medical authority shall convey the reasons to him in writing under FORM–II within a period of one month from the date of receipt of the application.

12. At the time of initial appointment and promotion against a vacancy reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities, the appointing authority shall ensure that the candidate is eligible to get the benefit of reservation.

13. COMPUTATION OF RESERVATION:

Reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities in case of Group C and Group D posts shall- be computed on the basis of total number of vacancies occurring in all Group C or Group D posts, as the case may be, in the establishment, although the recruitment of the persons with disabilities would only be in the posts identified suitable for them. The number of vacancies to be reserved for the persons with disabilities in case of direct recruitment to Group ‘C’ posts in an establishment shall be computed by taking into account the total number of vacancies arising in Group ‘C’ posts for being filled by direct recruitment in a recruitment year both in the identified and non-identified posts under the establishment. The same procedure shall apply for Group ‘D` posts. Similarly, all vacancies in promotion quota shall be taken into account while computing reservation in promotion in Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ posts. Since reservation is limited to identified posts only and number of vacancies reserved is computed on the basis of total vacancies (in identified posts as well as unidentified posts), it is possible that number of persons appointed by reservation in an identified post may exceed four per cent.

14. Reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities in Group ‘A’ or Group ‘B’ posts shall be computed on the basis of total number of vacancies occurring in direct recruitment quota in the cadre in all the Group A posts or Group ‘B’ posts respectively, and the computation of total vacancies shall include vacancies arising in the identified and non-identified posts.

15 EFFECTING RESERVATION – MAINTENANCE OF ROSTERS:

(a) Every Government establishment shall maintain separate 100 point vacancy based reservation roster registers in the format given in Annexure A for determining/effecting reservation for the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities – one each for Group ‘A’ posts filled by direct recruitment, Group ‘B’ posts filled by direct recruitment, Group ‘C’ posts filled by direct recruitment, Group ‘C’ posts filled by promotion, Group ‘D’ posts filled by direct recruitment and Group ‘D’ posts filled by promotion.

(b) Each register shall have cycles of 100 points and each cycle of 100 points shall be divided into four blocks, comprising the following points:
1st Block – point No.1 to point No.25
2nd Block – point No. 26 to point No.50
3rd Block – point No.51 to point No. 75
4th Block – point No.76 to point No.100
(c) Points 1, 26, 51. and 76 of the roster shall be earmarked reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities – one point for each of the four categories of disabilities. The Head of the establishment shall ensure that vacancies identified at SI. No.1, 26, 51 and 76 are earmarked for the respective categories of the persons with benchmark disabilities. However, the Head of the establishment shall decide the placement of the selected candidate in the roster register.

(d) All the vacancies in Group C posts falling in direct recruitment quota arising in the establishment shall be entered in the relevant roster register. If the vacancy falling at point no. 1 is not identified for the Person with Benchmark Disability or the Head of the establishment considers it desirable not to fill it up by Persons with Benchmark Disabilities a disabled person or it is not possible to fill up that post by the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities for any other reason, one of the vacancies falling at any of the points from 2 to 25 shall be treated as reserved for the disabled and filled as such.

Likewise, a vacancy falling at any of the points from 26 to 50 or from 51 to 75 or from 76 to 100 shall have to be filled by the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities. The purpose of keeping points 1, 26, 51 and 76 as reserved is to fill up the first available suitable vacancy from 1 to 25, first available suitable vacancy from 26 to 50, first available suitable vacancy from 51 to 75 and first available suitable vacancy from 76 to 100 by persons with benchmark disabilities.

(e)There is a possibility that none of the vacancies from 1 to 25 is suitable for any category of the Person with Disability. In that case two vacancies from 26 to 50 shall be filled as reserved for persons with disabilities. If the vacancies from 26 to 50 are also not suitable for any category, three vacancies shall be filled as reserved from the third block containing points from 51 to 75. This means that if no vacancy can be reserved in a particular block, it shall be carried over into the next block

(f)After all the 100 points of the roster are covered, a fresh cycle of 100 points shall start.

(g) If the number of vacancies in a year is such as to cover only one block (say 25 vacancies) or two (say 50 vacancies), the category of the disabled should be accommodated as per the roster points. However, in case the said vacancy is not identified for the respective category, the Head of the establishment shall decide the category on the basis of the nature of the post, the level of representation of the specific disabled category in the concerned grade/post etc.

(h)A separate roster shall be maintained for group C posts – one for the posts filled by direct recruitment and another for posts filled by promotion. Likewise, two separate rosters shall be maintained for Group D posts.

(I) Reservation for persons with disabilities in Group ‘A’ or Group ‘B’ posts shall be computed on the basis of total number of vacancies occurring in direct recruitment quota in all the Group ‘A’ posts or Group ‘B’ posts respectively, and the computation of total vacancies shall include vacancies arising in the identified and non-identified posts in the cadre. Separate rosters for Group ‘A’ posts and Group ‘B’ posts in the establishment shall be maintained.”

16. INTER SE EXCHANGE AND CARRY FORWARD OF RESERVATION IN CASE OF DIRECT RECRUITMENT:

(a) Reservation for each of the categories of persons with benchmark disabilities identified for reservation shall be made separately. If the nature of vacancies in an establishment is such that a given category of person cannot be employed, the vacancies may be interchanged among the categories identified for reservation. However, the Head of the establishment shall ensure that the reasons for interchange may be recorded in writing before effecting the same.

(b)Where tn any recruitment year any vacancy cannot be filled up due to non availability of a suitable person with benchmark disability or for any other sufficient reasons, such vacancy shall be carried forward in the succeeding recruitment year and if in the succeeding recruitment year also suitable person with benchmark disability is not available, it may first be filled by interchange among the identified categories for reservation purpose and only when there is no person with disability available for the post in that year, the ’employer shall fill up the vacancy by appointment of a person, other than a person with disability. The Government establishment shall interchange vacancies only if due process of recruitment to fill up the vacancies meant for persons with benchmark disabilities has been complied with.

(c) If any vacancy reserved for any category of benchmark disability cannot be filled due to non-availability of a suitable person with that benchmark disability or, for any other sufficient reason, such vacancy shall be carried forward as a ‘backlog reserved vacancy’ to the subsequent recruitment year.

In the subsequent recruitment year the ‘backlog reserved vacancy’ shall be treated as reserved for the category of disability for which it was kept reserved in the initial year of recruitment. However, if a suitable person with that benchmark disability is not available, it may be filled by interchange among the categories of benchmark disabilities identified for reservation. In case no suitable person with benchmark disability is available for filling up the vacancy in the succeeding year also, the employer may fill up the vacancy by a person other than a person with benchmark disability. If the vacancy is filled by a person with benchmark disability of the category for which it was reserved or by a person of other category of benchmark disability by inter se exchange in the subsequent recruitment year, it will be treated to have been filled by reservation. But if the vacancy is filled by a person other than a person with benchmark disability in the subsequent recruitment year, reservation shall be carried forward for a further period upto two recruitment years whereafter the reservation shall lapse. In these two subsequent years, if situation so arises, the procedure for filling up the reserved vacancy shall be the same as followed in the first subsequent recruitment year.

17. In order to ensure that cases of lapse of reservation are kept to the minimum, any recruitment of the disabled candidates shall first be counted against the additional quota brought forward from previous years, if any, in their chronological order. If candidates are not available for all the vacancies, the older carried forward reservation would be filled first and the current vacancies would be carried forward if not filled up.

18. CONSIDERATION ZONE, INTERSE EXCHANGE AND CARRY FORWARD OF RESERVATION IN CASE OF PROMOTION

(a)  While filling up the reserved vacancies in Group C or Group D by promotion by selection, if any, the candidates with benchmark disabilities, who are within the normal zone of consideration, shall be considered for promotion. Where adequate numbers of the candidates with benchmark disabilities of the appropriate category of disability are not available within the normal zone, the zone of consideration may be extended to five times the number of vacancies and the candidates with Benchmark disabilities falling within the extended zone may be considered. In the event of non-availability of candidates even in the extended zone, the reservation can be exchanged so that vacancy can be filled by a person with other category of benchmark disability, if possible. If it is not possible to fill up the post by reservation, the vacancy in the post may be filled by a person other than a Person with Benchmark disability and the reservation shall be carried forward for upto three subsequent recruitment years, whereafter it shall lapse.

(b) In posts filled by promotion by non-selection in Group C or Group D, the eligible candidates with benchmark disabilities shall be considered for promotion against the reserved vacancies and in case no eligible candidate of the appropriate category of disability is available, the vacancy can be exchanged with other categories of benchmark disabilities identified for it. If it is not possible to fill up the post by reservation even by exchange, the reservation shall be carried forward for upto three subsequent recruitment years, whereafter it shall lapse.

19. HORIZONTALITY OF RESERVATION FOR PERSONS WITH BENCHMARK DISABILITIES:

Reservation for backward classes of citizens (SCs, STs and OBCs) is called vertical reservation and the reservation for categories such as persons with benchmark disabilities and ex-servicemen is called horizontal reservation. Horizontal reservation cuts across vertical reservation (in what is called interlocking reservation) and persons selected against the quota for persons with benchmark disabilities have to be placed in the appropriate category viz. SC/ST/OBC/General candidates depending upon the category to which they belong in the roster meant for reservation of SCs/STs/OBCs. To illustrate, if in a given year there are two vacancies reserved for the persons with benchmark disabilities and out of two persons with benchmark disabilities appointed, one belongs to a Scheduled Caste and the other to general category, then the benchmark disabilities SC candidate shall be adjusted against the SC point in the reservation roster and the general candidate with benchmark disability against unreserved point in the relevant reservation roster. In case none of the vacancies falls on point reserved for the SCs, the benchmark disability candidate belonging to SC shall be adjusted in future against the next available vacancy reserved for SCs.

20. Since the persons with benchmark disabilities have to be placed in the appropriate category viz. SC/ST/OBC/General in the roster meant for reservation of SCs/STs/OBCs, the application form for the post should require the candidates applying under the quota reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities to indicate whether they belong to SC/ST/OBC or General category.

21. RELAXATION IN AGE LIMIT:

(i)  Upper age limit for persons with benchmark disabilities shall be relaxable (a) by ten years (15 years for SCs/STs and 13 years for OBCs) in case of direct recruitment to Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ posts; (b) by 5 years (10 years for SCs/STs and 8 years for OBCs) in case of direct recruitment to Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ posts where recruitment is made otherwise than through open competitive examination; and (c) by 10 years (15 years for SCs/STs and 13 years for OBCs) in case of direct recruitment to Group A and Group B posts through open competitive examination.

(ii)  Relaxation in age limit shall be applicable irrespective of the fact whether the post is reserved or not, provided the post is identified suitable for persons with benchmark disabilities.

22. RELAXATION OF STANDARD OF SUITABILITY:

If sufficient number of person with benchmark disabilities candidates is not available on the basis of the general standard to fill all the vacancies reserved for them, candidates belonging to this category may be selected on relaxed standard to fill up the remaining vacancies reserved for them provided they are not found unfit for such post or posts. Thus, to the extent the number of vacancies reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities cannot be filled on the basis of general standards, candidates belonging to this category may be taken by relaxing the standards to make up the deficiency in the reserved quota subject, to the fitness of these candidates for appointment to the post/posts in question.

23. MEDICAL EXAMINATION:

As per Rule 10 of the Fundamental Rules, every new entrant to Government Service on initial appointment is required to produce a medical certificate of fitness issued by a competent authority. In case of medical examination of a person with benchmark disabilities for appointment to a post identified as suitable to be held by a person suffering from a particular kind of disability, the concerned Medical Officer or Board shall be informed beforehand that the post is identified suitable to be held by persons with benchmark disabilities of the relevant category and the candidate shall then be examined medically keeping this fact in view.

24. EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF EXAMINATION FEE AND APPLICATION FEE:

Persons with benchmark disabilities shall be exempted from payment of application fee and examination fee, prescribed in respect of competitive examinations held by the Staff Selection Commission, the Union Public Service Commission etc. for recruitment to various posts. This exemption shall be available only to such persons who would otherwise be eligible for appointment to the post on the basis of standards of medical fitness prescribed for that post (including any concession specifically extended to the persons with benchmark disabilities) and who enclose disability certificate from a competent authority with the application form in support of their claim of disability.

25. NOTICE OF VACANCIES:

In order to ensure that persons with benchmark disabilities get a fair opportunity in consideration for appointment to a vacancy in an identified post, the following points shall be kept in view while sending the requisition notice to the SSC, the UPSC etc. and while advertising the vacancies:-

(i) Number of vacancies reserved for SC/ST/OBC/Ex-servicemen/Persons with Benchmark Disabilities should be indicated clearly. As regards Persons with Benchmark Disabilities, the vacancies shall be further reported separately for the following four categories of benchmark disabilities.

First category

  • blindness and low vision;

Second category.

  • deaf and hard of hearing;

Third category


  • locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured,
  • dwarfism, acid attacks victims and muscular dystrophy;

Fourth category


  • autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
  • multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness,

in the posts identified for each disabilities.

(ii)      In case of vacancies in posts identified suitable to be held by persons with benchmark disabilities, it shall be indicated that the post is identified for: –

First category

  • blindness and low vision;

Second category

  • deaf and hard of hearing;

Third category

  • locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attacks victims and muscular dystrophy;

Fourth category

  • autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
  • multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness,

in the posts identified for each disabilities, as the case may be, and that the persons with benchmark disabilities belonging to the category/categories for which the vacancy in the post is identified shall be allowed to apply even if no vacancies are reserved for them. Such candidates will be considered for selection for appointment to the post by general standards of merit, if the post identified suitable for them.

(iii) In case of vacancies in posts identified suitable for persons with benchmark disabilities, irrespective of whether any vacancies are reserved or not, the categories of disabilities viz

  • blindness and low vision;
  • deaf and hard of hearing;
  • locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured, dwarfism, acid attacks victims and muscular dystrophy;
  • autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness;
  • multiple disability from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness,

for which the post is identified suitable alongwith functional classification and physical requirements for performing the duties attached to the post shall be indicated clearly.

(iv) It shall also be indicated that the above-mentioned four categories of persons with benchmark disabilities shall alone be eligible for the benefit of reservation under the category of persons with benchmark disabilities. Persons with benchmark disabilities means a person with not less than forty percent of a specified disability where specified disability has not been defined in measurable terms and includes a person with disability where specified disability has been defined in measurable terms, as certified by the certifying authority.

26. Notification of vacancies to the Special Employment Exchange:–

(i) The following vacancies shall be notified by the establishments to the special employment exchange namely:-
(a) vacancies in posts of a technical and scientific nature carrying a basic pay in Level 6 or more per month occurring in Central Government establishments; and
(b)  vacancies which the employer of the Central Government establishment may circulate to the special employment exchange outside the State or Union territory in which the establishment is situated, as may be notified in the Official Gazette.

(ii) The Government establishment shall send the copy of the notification of vacancies to the concerned Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for persons with disabilities.

(iii) The vacancies other than those specified in sub-rule (1) shall be notified to the local special employment exchange concerned and the Government establishment shall send a copy of the notification of vacancies to the concerned Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for persons with disabilities.

27. Form and manner of notification of vacancies to the Special Employment Exchange:-

(1) The Government establishment shall notify the vacancies in writing to the concerned special employment exchange, and furnish the following particulars in respect of each type of vacancy, namely:-

(a) Name and address of the employer;

(b) Telephone number of the employer;

(c)   Nature of vacancy, namely;-

(i)  Designation of workers required;
(ii)  Description of duties
(iii)   Physical requirements for the job, namely, visual accuracy, frequent movement or walking, continuous long hours sitting and other physical requirements;
(iv)  Qualification requirements, namely:-
i. essential;
ii. desirable;
(v)   Age limit, if any;
(vi)  Whether women are eligible?
(d)  number of vacancies reserved for persons with disabilities, that is, persons with physical, visual, hearing, intellectual and mental illness-
(i)  regular;
(ii) temporary;

(e)   pay and allowances;

(f)  place of work, that is, name of town and village and district in which it is situated;

(g)  probable date by which the vacancy will be filled;

(h)  particulars regarding interview/test of applicants, namely;-
(i)   date of interview or test;
(ii) time of interview or test;
(iii) place of interview or test;
(iv) designation and address of the person to whom applicants should report;
(v) any other relevant information,
(2) The appropriate Government shall re-notify the vacancies to the concerned special employment exchange, if there is any change in the particulars already furnished to the special employment exchange and vocational rehabilitation centre for persons with disabilities under this rules.

28. Time limit for the notification of vacancies:–

(i) The vacancies, required to be notified to the local special employment exchange, shall be notified at least thirty days before the date on which the applicants are to be interviewed or tested, where interview or test held, or the date on which vacancies are intended to be filled, if no interview or test is held.

(ii) An employer of the Government establishment shall furnish to the concerned special employment exchange, the result of the selection within fifteen days from the date of selection.

29. Submission of Returns:–

(i) An employer of the Government establishment shall furnish to the local special employment exchange returns once in every three months in Form PDER-I and once in every two months in Form PDER­- II.

(ii) The return shall be furnished within thirty days of the respective dates that is, 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December.

(iii)The two months return shall be furnished within thirty days of the due date as may be notified by the appropriate Government in the Official

30. Form in which record to kept by en employer:–

Every employer of the Government establishment shall maintain the record of employees with disabilities in Form PDER III.

31.CERTIFICATE BY REQUISITIONING AUTHORITY:

In order to ensure proper implementation of the provisions of reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities, the requisitioning authority while sending the requisition to the UPSC, SSC etc. for filling up of posts shall furnish the following certificate to the recruiting agency:-

“It is certified that the requirements of the THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016′ on 28th December, 2016, which took effect from 19th day of April, 2017 and the policy relating to reservation for persons with benchmark disabilities has been taken care of while sending this requisition. The vacancies reported in this requisition fall at points no  of cycle no  of 100 point reservation roster out of which  number of vacancies are reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities.”

32. ANNUAL REPORTS REGARDING REPRESENTATION OF PERSONS WITH BENCHMARK DISABILITIES:

(i) The Ministries/Departments shall continue to upload data on representation of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities along with data on SCs, STs, OBCs in respect of posts/services under the Central Government on the URL i.e, rrcps.nic.in as on 1st January of every year. All Ministries/Departments have been provided respective usercocle and password with guidelines for operating the URL.

(ii)Soon after the 1st January of every year, each appointing authority shall send on-line data relating to Persons with Disabilities along with SCs, STs and OBCs to its administrative Ministry/Department, which shall scrutinize the information received from all appointing authorities under it and upload the same on the URL. Ministry/Department shall consolidate information in respect of all attached and subordinate offices under its administrative control and submit the same through the URL to the Department of Personnel and Training immediately. The hardcopy of data uploaded on the URL need not to be sent to Department of Personnel and Training.

(iii)The following points may be kept in view while uploading the data on the URL:-
(a) The data sent to the DOPT should not include information in respect of public sector undertakings, statutory, semi-Government and autonomous bodies. Statutory, semi-Government and autonomous bodies which shall furnish consolidated information to the administrative Ministry/Department concerned, who may scrutinize, monitor and maintain it at their own level.
(b) The attached/subordinate offices shall send data to their administrative Ministry/Department only through the URL and shall not send it directly to the DOPT.
(c)The figures in respect of Persons with benchmark Disabilities shall include persons appointed by reservation as well as appointed otherwise.
(d)The data relates to persons and not to posts. Therefore, while furnishing data, the posts lying vacant etc. should not be taken into Persons on deputation should be included in the establishment of the borrowing Ministry/Department/Office and not in the parent establishment. Persons permanent in one grade but officiating or holding temporary appointment in the higher grade shall be included in the figures relating to the Class of service to which the higher grade belongs.

33. Grievance Redressal Mechanism:

(1) Every Government establishment shall appoint one or more Grievance Redressal Officer not below the rank of a Gazetted Officer:

Provided that where it is not possible to appoint any Gazetted Officer, an officer of reasonable seniority shall be appointed as a Grievance Redressal Officer.

(2)The grievance redressal officer shall maintain a register of complaints and soft copy specifically maintained for the purpose and separate page shall be allotted for each complaint.

(3)The grievance redressal officer shall record the following particulars in the register, namely:-

  • date of complaint;
  • name of complainant;
  • name of the person who is enquiring the complaint;
  • place of incident;
  • the name of the establishment or person against whom the complaint is made;
  • gist of the complaint;
  • any additional information;
  • documentary evidence, if any;
  • date of disposal of by the grievance redressal officer;
  • details of disposal of the appeal by the district level committee; and
  • any other information.

34. LIAISON OFFICER FOR PERSONS WITH BENCHMARK DISABILITIES:

Liaison Officers appointed to look after reservation matters for SCs/STs shall also work as Liaison Officers for reservation matters relating to persons with benchmark disabilities and shall ensure compliance of these instructions.

35. All the Ministries/Departments are requested to bring the above instructions to the notice of all appointing authorities under their control.

Sd/-
(G. Srinivasan)
Deputy Secretary to the Govt. of India
Ph.No.23093074

 (i) All Ministries/Departments of the Govt. Of India.

(ii) Department of Financial Service, Ministry of Finance, Jeevan Deep Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi.

(iii)Department of Public Enterprises, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

(iv) Railway Board, Rail Bhavan, Delhi.

(v)Union Public Service Commission/Supreme Court of India/ Election Commission of     India/     Lok   Sabha      Secretariat/     Rajya     Sabha Secretariat/Cabinet Secretariat/Central Vigilance Commission/President’s Secretariat/ Prime Minister’s Office/Planning Commission.

(vi) Staff Selection Commission, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi.

(vii)Office of the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities, Sarojini House, 6, Bhagwan Das Road,New Delhi – 110001

(viii) Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

(ix) All Officers and Sections in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and all attached/subordinate offices of this Ministry.