Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In light of RPwD Act 2016, DoPT to Revise Reservation Policy for Persons with Disabilities: seeks suggestions by 05 July 2017

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 [External web link opens] 

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

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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.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

3 Day Training Course on Accessible India Campaign for CPWD Architects conducted

Dear Colleagues,


CABE, India conducted yet another 3- day Full time Accessibility Training Program under 'Accessible India Campaign' for the Architects of CPWD at National CPWD Academy, Ghaziabad as a part of the "Foundation Training Program for Dy. Architects -2016 Batch & Special Training Program for Assistant Architects" during 24-26 April 2017.

A total of 30 Architects (19 Dy. Architects + 11 Asst. Architects) underwent the three day rigorous training program consisting of components such as Law & Policy Framework on Disability, Salient features of new Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Disability Sensitization, Disability Etiquette, Anthropometry, Universal Design, Detailed study of Accessibility Standards followed by Practical Access Audits by Trainees & presentations of Access Audit Reports.

Simulation in progress-1

Simulation in progress-2

Simulation in progress-3


Written Evaluation Test after the training in progress

A group photo of the batch of Trainees taken at the close of training program
A group photo of the batch of Trainees taken at the close of training program


For more pictures, visit our Facebook Page  here or the specific album on the page here. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

DEPWD issues Enforcement Notification appointing 19 April 2017 for enforcement of RPWD Act 2016

Dear Colleagues,

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India (hereinafter DEPWD) has finally issued the notification appointing  the date of enforcement for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (hereinafter RPwD Act).

The RPwD Act 2016 has come in the force with effect from 19 April 2017 as per the notification.

Here is the Copy of the RPwD Act 2016 Enforcement Notification dated 19 April 2017.

Image of RPWD Act 2016 Enforcement Notificaton dated 19 April 2017

The DEPWD is yet to notify the RPWD Rules for proper implementation of Act. We hope the Rules should be notified by close of this month.



Thursday, April 06, 2017

Comments on the Draft Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017 issued vide Gazette notification 10 March 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, ever since the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (hereinafter RPwD Act 2016) received the assent of the Hon'ble President of India on 27th December 2016, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities [hereinafter DEPWD] had been working overtime on the Rules so as to enforce the Act at the earliest. It may be noted that though the new Act has been notified in the official gazette on 28th Dec 2016, but in order to enforce it, the rules are to be framed and a date needs to be appointed in the official gazette on which the Act will come in to force.

The DEPWD thus constituted committee to suggest draft rules and had put out a draft Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules 2017 as on 03rd Mar 2017 on its website. This was subsequently amended based on the comments from Ministry of Law and the DEPWD freshly notified the draft RPD Rules 2017 in the Official Gazette dated 10 March 2017 calling for comments from stakeholders within one month.

Observations of CABE, India on the Draft Rules 2017:

  1. The objective of the new RPwD Act 2016 is to realise the mandate of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which is a challenging task given the state of preparedness in the country. We feel that the draft rules don't indicate that the DEPWD has anticipated the enormous difficulties likely to be faced in implementing various sections of the Act and in the hurry to enforce the Act on 14 April 2017,  many crucial sections have been left out in the rule making process. 
  2. The draft rules have been restricted to Section 100 (2) of the Act only and they fail to offer any guidance for proper implementation of many of the important sections of the new RPwD Act. 
  3. We feel that the draft rules contravene the very RPwD Act for which they have been drafted. For instance, while many sections of the Act that are applicable to establishments (both Govt. and private), the rules render them inapplicable to private establishments.
  4. The draft rules are silent on providing any mechanism from possible misuse of Section 3(3). The current provision in the rule that the person with disability may approach the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities doesn't inspire confidence that the section 3(3) will not be misused. The chances of misuse are more when the Act itself reduces the powers of the Chief Commissioner as mere recommendatory. This tends to give unfettered powers to the establishment to discriminate by doctoring a legitimate aim. We, believe that the section in present form leaves a person with disability completely unprotected in case he/she is discriminated against on the grounds of disability. There is a need to address this and empower the office of CCPD and also create more checks & balances in the rules when powers under 3(3) are to be used by an establishment.
  5. The Schedule to the Act describing Specified Disabilities" in the different heads seems to be a blooper with no scientific basis of categorisation. 
  6. The Schedule fails to differentiate 'thalassemia major' from 'thalassemia minor'. Thus it lumps 30 million asymptomatic carriers of thalassemia unnecessarily together with the transfusion-dependent thalassemia as persons with disabilities.  
  7. We believe that the new category of 'acid attack survivors' added in the schedule of 'specified disabilities' in compliance of Supreme Court’s directions is most unscientific and unreasonable for it fails to protect & support those who are burn survivors having similar disabilities as that of acid attach survivors. In short, a person who got burnt due to acid attack will be treated as a disabled, but the one burnt with petrol or kerosene or other chemical will not be treated as disabled in the Act!
  8. Section 17 of the draft rules, requires the compliance to the Model Building Bye Laws (hereinafter MBBL) of Ministry of Urban Development for accessibility in physical environment. Now, we all know that the  MBBL is actually an outdated document as far as accessibility. We already have a better version of the accessibility norms in form of 'Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Enviornment Feb 2016' also issued by Ministry of Urban Development. These Harmonised Guidelines are used by the empanelled access auditors use today for conducting access audits under the Accessible India Campaign of the DEPWD. However, after the Bureau of Indian Standards has notified & released the National Building Code of India 2016 on 15 March 2017 with a full-fledged chapter on Accessibility, there is no point on retaining reference to MBBL which will be a regressive step. We strongly recommend that either we move to NBC 2016 for the purposes of accessibility compliance under the RPwDA 2016 or get the MBBL immediately revised to incorporate reference to NBC 2016 and make necessary changes wherever needed.
  9. Under Section 17, for accessibility of areas other than physical environment, no other document has been updated in light of recent developments in science & technology. Therefore, it is suggested that the rules fix a time limit of 6 months from the date of notification of rules for review of all standards related to accessibility of Public Bus Transport, Rail Coach, Ship vessels, Airport and Aircrafts, telecommuication services, telecasting and radio broadcasting & any other service or facility.
  10. Section 19(1) should not restrict the authority of making application for disability certificate only to the legal guardian as this would keep those devoid of the facility of disability certificate who are awaiting appointment of legal guardian or family members are not yet appointed their legal guardian. Thus a proviso should be added, "Provided that where a person with disability is unable to make such an application himself being minor, with a severe disability or any other reasons, the application on his behalf may be made by next friend, family member, legal guardian or a registered organization."
  11. In Section 30 (b) regarding qualifications for Chief Commissioner,  should include provison that the candidate should not have a conflict of interest in joining the post of Chief Commissioner. Conflict of interest, if any, must be declared at the time of application and appointment shall be subject such conditions as may be prescribed. Other things being equal, preference shall be given to candidates with disabilities, while considering the appointment of Chief Commissioner.
  12. There are several cases where people suffer due to wrong diagnosis or incorrect percentage of disability by the assessing officers. Section 20 of the draft rules makes no provision for appeal mechanism which is urgently needed. Also it should be stated clearly that  the disability certificate shall be valid across nation for all purposes. 
  13. We fear that, any such move of hurriedly notifying the rules and enforcing the Act will only reduce the limited time frame available to remove difficulties  after the enforcement date. (two years available under section 98 of the Act from the date of enforcement). Therefore, it is suggested that the DEPWD should consider notifying such rules that helps enforcement of the complete Act rather than in piecemeal.  This would be in the larger interest of the persons with disabilities and will help implement the new Act effectively.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Invitation for National Consultation on RPWD Bill 2016 on 29-30 Dec 2016 at New Delhi

Dear Colleagues,

People's Action for Change & Empowerment (PACE)  in collaboration with Centre for Accessibility in Built Environment (CABE) invites you to a National Consultation on the RPWD Bill 2016 (Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016) scheduled to be held in New Delhi during 29-30 Dec 2016. For a copy of the New RPWD Bill 2016 passed by the Rajya Sabha here. For the benefit of blind readers, a copy of the RPWD Bill 2016 in plain text (without table) is provided here. Related documents can be accessed on the Resource Section.

Poster
Invitation Poster for the 2 Day National Consultation on Rights of Persons With Disabilities Bill 2016

Background
According to the Census of India, 2011 disabled persons accounted for 2.21% of India’s population. Of these, 20.3% have a movement-related disability, 18.9% are those with hearing disabilities and 18.8% with vision-related disabilities. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment itself considers this figure as an under-count. The World Bank pegged the number of disabled in India to be around 80 million.

Currently, the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) (PWD) Act, 1995 specifies seven conditions as disabilities and makes special provisions for disabled persons with regard to their rehabilitation, and opportunities for employment and education.

In 2007, India became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The UNCRPD requires signatory states to make appropriate changes in law and policy to give effect to rights of disabled persons.

Apart from the PWD Act, other laws that govern various aspects of disabilities include the Mental Health Act, 1987, the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 and the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.

In response to the ratification of the UNCRPD, the Government decided to bring about changes in its existing legal framework. Accordingly, in 2010, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment constituted an expert committee under Dr. Sudha Kaul Vice-Chairperson, Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, Kolkata, to draft a new Bill for persons with disabilities. The committee with the help of a legal consultant Prof. Amita Dhanda (Nalsar Law University)  submitted a Draft Bill on June 30, 2011 that proposed to replace the existing Persons with Disabilities Act and addressed rights and entitlements for disabled persons. The draft Bill was extensively debated and discussed at various levels involving State Governments and Union Territories. The Committee held several State Level consultations at 30 places (28 States and 2 UTs) and also a National Consultation involving civil society representatives and consultations with legal experts. On the basis of the comments received from Central Ministries/ Departments as also the State Governments, the draft RPWD Bill was further revised and subsequently finalized in consultations with Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department). The Union Cabinet considered the proposal of the Ministry and approved the proposed RPWD Bill, 2013 with the modification regarding exemption of National Fund from the purview of income tax (deletion of clause 102).

The Ministry further met the representatives of the cross disability groups under the banner of Joint Disabilities Forum. The issues raised by the cross disability Joint Disabilities Forum were discussed in detail in the National Advisory Council on 29.01.2014. Accordingly, the revised proposal to incorporate these amendments in the Bill was approved by the Cabinet on 06.02.2014.

The Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha February 7, 2014 and the amendments thereto were circulated in the Rajya Sabha on February 11, 2014. The Bill was, thereafter, on September 16, 2014, referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment for examination and report. However, due to dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha, the Bill was re-referred to the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment (2014-15) in the 16th Lok Sabha.

The Standing Committee chaired by Shri. Ramesh Bais presented its report to Lok Sabha on May 7, 2015 with several important recommendations. Its only in winter session of 2016, that the bill was tabled in the Parliament & both the houses passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2014 with 119 amendments as 'The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill 2016 (Rajya Sabha passed it on 14 Dec 16 and Lok Sabha on 16 Dec 16) unanimously. As we write, the Bill awaits the assent of the Hon'ble President for its notification.

Need of this consultation
Although the Bill has many good features incorporating civil, political & cultural rights & also covers a wide range of disabling conditions with power to the government to add more disabilities, yet there are many areas in the Bill that pose serious challenge as a result of omissions & dilutions. This not only that frustrates the object of the Bill - that is to give full effect to the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, but also takes away from the stakeholders what was already available to them in the earlier Act of 1995.

Many sections of the bill are also dependent on framing of comprehensive rules in order to give effect to the Bill. There are also catena of judgments passed by the different High Courts & Hon’ble Supreme Court giving wider & beneficial interpretations  of the existing PWD Act of 1995 that advanced the rights of persons with disabilities and this jurisprudence need to find its place in the Bill or in rules.  If these concerns cannot be addressed within the rules in the given framework of the bill, it may necessitate amendments in the bill to rectify the same.  
In light of above, a National Consultation on the RPWD Bill 2016 is proposed to be held during 29-30 Dec 2016 as per following details, wherein we propose to discuss each section threadbare & analyse the bill & come up with suggestions on how to plug the lacunae in the Bill that the rights of persons with disabilities are protected. The participants of the Consultation will be lawyers, activists, persons with disabilities & DPOs/ NGOs working on disability rights issues.

Venue: Gandhi Hall, Blind Relief Association, Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, New Delhi 110003 (Near Oberoi Hotel). [Locate here on Google Map
Date: 29 & 30 December 2016 
Time: 09 AM to 6 PM
Tentative Agenda 


Day – 1
Registration 9 AM – 9.30 AM
Session 0 : 9.30 AM – 10.00 AM
Introduction to RPWD Bill /Opening Remarks
Mr. AK Awasthi, Joint Secretary, DEPWD
Mr. Pankaj Sinha, Adv, PACE
Session 1 :10.00 AM – 11.30 AM
Chapter I and II  - Definitions & Right & Entitlements (1.5 Hours)

Ms. Smitha Sadasivan, DLU South/DRA
Tea break
Session 2 :11.45  AM – 1.45 PM
Chapter III & IV – Education &Skill Development & Employment (1.5 Hours)
Mr. Satish Kapoor, Brotherhood
Mr. Avinash Shahi, JNU
Mr. Ashok Agarwal,  Social Jurist
Mr. Vikas Gupta, Asst Prof. DU
Lunch
Session 3 :2.30 PM – 3.45 PM
Chapter VI Benchmark Disabilities (1.5 Hrs)
Mr. Nipun Malhotra, Nipman Foundation
Tea Break
Session 4 :4.00 PM – 5.30 PM
Chapters V & VII - Social Security, Health, Rehabilitation And Recreation & High Support Needs
Ms. Sandhya Raju, Adv (Kerala)
Day-2
Session 5: 9.00 AM – 11.00 AM
Chapter VIII  - Duties And Responsibilities Of Appropriate Governments
Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Adv
Mr. Rajive Raturi, Director- DRI, HRLN
Tea break
Session 6:11.30 AM – 1.00 PM
Chapter IX, X & XI – Registration of Institutions, Disability Certification & Advisory boards
Ms. Jayna Kothari, Adv  (Bangalore)
Mr. T.D. Dhariyal, Former Dy CCPD
Lunch
Session 7 – 2.00 PM – 3.00 PM
Chapter XII & XIII – Chief Commissioner/ State Commissioners & Special Courts
Mr. PK Pincha, Former CCPD
Mr. Jamshed Keki Mistry, Adv (Bombay)
Mr. Pankaj Sinha, Adv
Session 8 – 3.15 PM – 4.15 PM
Chapter XIV to Chapters XVII   National Fund, Offences & Penalties & Misc.
Mr. T.D. Dhariyal, Former Dy CCPD
Ms. Tanu Bedi, Adv (Chandigarh)
Dr. Sanjay S. Jain, Associate Prof.  LS Law College, (Pune)
Tea Break
Summing Up:  4.30 PM- 5.00 PM

Mr. Pankaj Sinha, Adv
Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Adv
Press Conference: 5.00 PM - 6.00 PM


Registration
If you are interested to contribute & attend this consultation workshop, please write a mail to  pace4india@gmail.com / cabe.access@gmail.com and get yourself registered.

Follow on Facebook: PACE India,    CABE India




Wednesday, November 09, 2016

CABE partners for "Inclusive Cities Workshop - 2016" with JMI University, Delhi, India during [19-20 Dec 2016]

Dear Colleagues,

CABE India was a proud partner with Jamia Milia Islamia University for the "Inclusive Cities Workshop 2016" held on 19-20 December 2016 at New Delhi, India.

This workshop brought together international and national urban thought leaders and researchers to share their work in making cities inclusive. The impressive list of speakers at the Workshop included Ms. ├ůsa Vagland, Dr Sylvia Nagl, Mr. Jan Nederveen, Prof. Kotaro Nakamura, Director & Professor, School of Art + Design, San Diego State University (SDSU), California, U.S.A. Dr. Shiela Mitra Sarkar, Dr. Anvita Arora, MD & CEO, Innovative Transport Solutions (iTrans), Dr. P. Partheeban, Prof. & Dean (Academic), St. Peter’s College of Engineering and Technology, Avadi, Chennai, Dr. Sudhir Krishna, IAS, Former Secretary Urban Development, Government of India, Mr. Subhash Chandra Vashishth, Advocate Disability Rights & Founder CABE India, Dr Juin Dutta, Dr. Nalini Thakur, Professor, Architectural Conservation, SPA Delhi, Col Anuj Srivastava (Retd), visiting Faculty, Amity University among several others. Detailed list of speakers & their profile is available at Our Speakers.  
A promotional Poster of the Workshop

Designing Cities for All: It was felt that Cities could never be planned or designed in the studios. Cities are organic and the needs are often not frozen in time when the design was created. Moreover, cities around the world are facing challenges of economic downturns, climate changes, population migration from war zones and other conflicts around the world. While we stand together to provide affordable housing, education, food security, access and safety to all, we also need to be cognizant that there are limited resources that need to be used creatively and wisely. 

Dr. Sudhir Krishna, IAS, Former Secy, UD, GOI speaking
A session at the workshop in progress

Gender Friendly Cities: As women bear the burden of socio-economic disparities and the lack of access to resources force them to be entrenched in cycles of poverty, its crucial that a gender supportive infrastructure in created in urban &  rural areas. We need to create sustainable solutions for our villages & cities that reduces excessive migration from rural India. 

Walkability: Every person irrespective of social status/ economic status, is a pedestrian first. Lack of accessible & safe pedestrian facilities discourage walkability which is directly related to not just independence & road safety but also to health & active living styles. Safety, dedicated lanes & climatic conditions do play a role in promoting walking & cycling as preferred mobility options. The cities need to look at these factors too to make non-motorized transports like cycling & walking for short distance travel.

Dr. Sheila Mitra Sarkar, Dr. Kulsum Fatima & other Speakers with Mr. SC Vashishth at the Workshop
Inclusive Cities: The workshop presented an opportunity for researchers and professionals, to hear from professionals in India and around the world who have made a difference and moved towards making the concept of 'an inclusive city' a reality -a city that supports sustainable transport, conservation of resources, most importantly, access to water while empowering the under-served. The workshop also gave an opportunity to students and urban thought leaders to brainstorm and discuss how we can make cities more inclusive. Workshop speakers were researchers, lawyers, sociologists, artists, musicians, activists, community organisers and socially-conscious young professionals who have realised that our future progress depends on creating inclusive cities.

Accessibility: Persons with disabilities & seniors face acute challenges of accessibility in built environments, services, attitudes of society in every day lives, hence feel excluded. No city can be inclusive if it claims growth and development sans its elders & disabled residents. Best practices in these areas were shared & discussed. Mr. Vashishth made a detailed presentation titled "Accessibility in Built Environment for an Inclusive & Smart Habitat in India". 

A Team from AADI consisting of Mr. Muthuswami,
Ms. Darshana Khir  & others with Mr. SC Vashishth
In addition, an Access Study Tour of the University was undertaken under guidance of Mr. SC Vashishth along with user-groups from Action for Ability Development & Inclusion (AADI) for the benefit of Workshop participants. 

Join our Community Page on Facebook Page - Inclusive Cities  & CABE Foundation, India




Friday, November 04, 2016

Invitation for 'Accessibility Training Workshop for Future Professionals' during 09-12 Dec 2016 at SPA Bhopal


Dear Colleagues & Design Students,


As you must be aware, the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) was launched as a nation-wide campaign to achieve universal access for persons with disabilities (PwDs) on 03 Dec 2015 by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Govt. of India so that equal access is provided to all, irrespective of age, ability and condition. To make inclusive cities a reality, it is very important for professionals to become socially aware and develop skills to address the related issues. 


To promote the objectives of the Campaign & to encourage understanding of challenges and opportunities for universal access in Indian cities, 'Centre for Human Centric Research' (CHCR) is organising “Accessibility Training Workshop for Future Professionals” at The School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal (an ‘Institution of National Importance’, under MHRD, Govt. of India), for the students of architecture, planning, design, engineering and other related disciplines, from 9th-12th December, 2016. The workshop will give insight to universal access with focus on the implications of ability and disability on usability of the built environment, spaces, buildings, infrastructures and interfaces. 


Founder of CABE, Sh. Subhash Chandra Vashishth has also been invited to address the participants on  the Legal Framework on Accessibility and Universal Design and act as a Jury on the Design Competition.


If you are a student of architecture, planning, design, engineering or other related discipline and want to update yourself with the concepts of accessibility & universal design and want to learn its application in architecture, landscapes, heritage sites, urban design and planning, you are encouraged to register for the workshop scheduled from 09-12 December 2016. For more details visit http://accessibility.spabhopal.ac.in 


Here is the poster for the event:



We are looking forward to your participation. See you at the Workshop!  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Are your tweets complying with the accessibility mandate?

Dear Accessibility enthusiasts,

We all know that accessibility of built infrastructure or environment that includes transportation infrastructure, tourism infrastructure or heritage monuments & sites, accessibility of information & communication technology & services is mandatory under the India Laws. How many of us practice it in daily lives?

Lets talk about the simplest thing such as a tweet on the Twitter. We regularly attach photos to our tweets. while blind / visually impaired users are able to read our tweets but they miss what is there in the photos that you have attached. 

The tweet with a photo also allows to tag more number people (nearly 10) on the image/photo without counting them in limited text characters allowed thereby enhancing your reach.

Therefore, it is important that all our users / contacts are able to read and know what that photo you uploaded or tagged them on contains, irrespective of their disability.

Making your tweets accessible to blind users

When you tweet photos using the Twitter app for iOS or Android, or on twitter.com, you have the option to compose a description of the images so the content is accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Steps to enable the Compose image descriptions setting and instructions for composing image descriptions using the following:

Twitter for Android

How to enable the composition of image descriptions from Twitter for Android
  1. In the top menu, you will either see a navigation menu icon  or your profile icon. Tap whichever icon you have.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Display and sound.
  4. Tap Accessibility.
  5. Next to Compose image descriptions, tick the box to turn the setting on or off.

How to add image descriptions in Tweets from Twitter for Android
  1. Start by tapping the Tweet icon  and attach your photo(s).
  2. On the image, tap Add description to insert descriptive text.
  3. Type your description of the image and tap Apply. Tap the description again to edit it prior to posting the Tweet. (The limit is 420 characters.)
  4. You can add a description to each image in a Tweet.
    Note: Image descriptions cannot be added to GIFs or videos.

Twitter for web (twitter.com)

How to enable the composition of image descriptions from twitter.com
  1. Go to your Settings by clicking on your profile icon and selecting Settings from the dropdown (or by pressing the “g” key quickly, followed by the “s” key).
  2. Click Accessibility from the list of settings.
  3. Find the Compose image descriptions checkbox.
  4. Check the box to turn the setting on or off.
  5. Click Save changes.

How to add image descriptions in Tweets from twitter.com

  1. Click on the Tweet compose button, or press the “n” key to use the keyboard shortcut.
  2. Attach your photo(s).
  3. To insert descriptive text, open the thumbnail preview dialog by clicking on the thumbnail. (If you are using the keyboard, focus the thumbnail using the “tab” key and press the “enter” key to open the thumbnail preview dialog).
  4. Type your description of the image and click the Apply button. To edit the description, re-open the thumbnail preview dialog prior to posting the Tweet. (The limit is 420 characters.)
  5. You can add a description to each image in a Tweet.Note: Image descriptions cannot be added to GIFs or videos.

 

Twitter for iOS

How to enable the composition of image descriptions from Twitter for iOS
  1. Go to your Settings by tapping the Me tab and then the gear icon 
  2. Tap Display and sound.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Next to Compose image descriptions, drag the slider to turn the setting on or off.
 How to add image descriptions in Tweets from Twitter for iOS
  1. Start by tapping the Tweet icon  and attach your photo(s).
  2. On the image, tap Add description to insert descriptive text.
  3. Type your description of the image and tap Apply. Tap the description again to edit it prior to posting the Tweet. (The limit is 420 characters.)
  4. You can add a description to each image in a Tweet.
    Note: Image descriptions cannot be added to GIFs or videos.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

India takes strides to make world heritage sites accessible on this World Tourism Day

Dear colleagues,

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has been celebrating the World Tourism Day (WTD) on September 27 since the year 1980. The statue of UNWTO was adopted on 27th September 1970 which is considered as a milestone in global tourism. 

WTD is celebrated every year to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide. Universal Access in Tourism (UAT) responds to Article 2.2 of the UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism which states: “Tourism activities should respect the equality of men and women in that they should promote human rights and, more particularly, the individual rights of the most vulnerable groups, notably children, the elderly, the handicapped, ethnic minorities and indigenous people.”

UNWTO has decided to have the theme of #WTD2016 as Tourism for All - Promoting Universal Accessibility. The celebration of the World Tourism Day 2016 under the above theme comes at an encouraging time for international tourism as more political decision makers and the tourism industry are advocating for tourism for all, a tourism which can be enjoyed equally by everybody, regardless of one’s age or abilities. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.

Reiterating the need of accessibility for all, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, in his official message on World Tourism Day said, "Everyone has the right to access leisure and tourism services on an equal basis. Yet one billion people around the world living with disability, along with young children, seniors and persons with other access requirement, face obstacles in accessing fundamentals of travel such as clear and reliable information, efficient transportation and public services, and a physical environment that is easy to navigate. Even with modern technologies, those with visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments are being left behind in many tourism destinations." 

India has 32 UNESCO recognised World Heritage Sites (WHS), which generate important revenues due to the large numbers of both domestic and international tourists. In the recent years, India has been focusing on making its tourism products and services accessible to all particularly the tourists with disabilities, seniors, children & women. Archaeological Survey of India is partnering with non-profits & other stakeholders to ensure that sensitive cultural monuments are adapted without damaging the unique heritage character of the monument yet, these become visitable by all on an equal basis with others. Of these, WHS like Qutb Minar & Red Fort in Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri in Agra have won National Tourism Awards for being made accessible  & disabled friendly in the past few years. Some other monuments are in the process. 

Though the pace of enhancing accessibility in tourism products is not as per the rising aspirations of the stakeholders, however the nation is on right track.  

Govt. of India under its Accessible India Campaign in partnership with Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture is planing to make major world heritage sites/ monuments accessible within a time bound manner, though the ASI have completed access improvements at some very promising projects on monuments under Delhi & Agra Circles. However, it needs to speed up the work. This is not just important to meet the legal mandate under the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995, UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UN CRPD) but also to attract a huge chunk of the section of potential tourists  that has some or the other form of disability. Many countries have achieved remarkable access improvements while India is still struggling due to inherent challenges. But there is hope - a hope for better accessibility at tourism sites so that persons with disabilities could also enjoy their rights to recreation, leisure and culture on an equal basis with others as enshrined in Article 30 of the CRPD.

On this World Tourism Day, we commit ourselves to make Indian Tourism sites & services welcoming to all with a greater vigour.