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Volume 3 Issue 3 - February 01, 2005

Disability leaders call on Home Minister demanding unlimited attempts in Civil Services

DNIS News Network – A delegation of disabled people called on Hon’ble Home Minister, Shri Shivraj Patil, at his residence seeking his intervention to end the discrimination against recruiting disabled people into the Civil Services.

Delegates from the disability sector sought the Minister’s intervention on three counts: Firstly, to ensure that the identification of posts for disabled aspirants to the Civil Services be done in a scientific manner involving disability experts. Secondly, to remove restrictions on the number of attempts that can be made by disabled candidates, as has been done for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes. Finally, the delegates asked that candidates with hearing impairments be exempt from the compulsory language paper since it is extremely difficult for them to learn more than one language. Incidentally, the Disability Act also mandates exemption for students with hearing impairments to learn a second language.

Piqued at the notification recently in the newspapers announcing that the UPSC examination had listed only seven services (out of a total of 21 Civil Services) suitable for candidates with physical disability, Javed Abidi, Executive Director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) said, “There is only one seat reserved for visually impaired candidates in the Indian Administrative Services but no other service has been found suitable for them. This, in days of modern assistive devices, is sheer callousness. The identification of services has obviously been done hurriedly and without much thought.”

He added, “NCPEDP had raised the issue with the previous NDA government too. that this identification of Services suitable to disabled people should be done in consultations with experts from disability sector. A committee had been set up for this purpose in January 2004 under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and had representatives from the DoPT and UPSC, but without the representation from the disability sector.”

Briefing the media after the meeting, Abidi said, “The Minister has promised to look into the issue. We hope that concrete interventions are made in time for the May 2005 examinations.”

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