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End discrimination in Civil Services

DNIS News Network - A press conference on January 13 spreads awareness about discrimination against disabled people in Civil Services.

National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP) held a press conference on January 13 to spread awareness about discrimination against disabled people in Civil Services.

The notification for announcing the Union Public Services Examination, 2005, recently in the newspapers (December 4, 2004, Employment News) indicates that only seven of the 21 Civil Services have been identified as suitable for candidates with physical disabilities. Briefing media people, Javed Abidi, Executive Director, NCPEDP said, “ Even a cursory glance at the Services that have been identified and more importantly services that have been left out, will reveal that the identification has been done hurriedly and without much thought!”

What is more interesting is that this has happened despite the case of Ravi Kumar Arora, one of the disabled candidates who, after a long legal battle was reinstated in the Indian Postal Service (IPS). The story seems never ending; IPS is again one of the services not identified by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) this time for disabled candidates.

Adding to this, Abidi pointed out, “ Just to substantiate our point, IAS – the most coveted and prestigious of all services has been identified but services like Indian Postal Service, Indian Railway Accounts Service, etc. have been left out!”

He added , “We had raised this issue with the last Government (NDA) and had also sent a memorandum to L.K. Advani, the then Deputy Prime Minister, saying that the identification of various Civil Services has to be done in a scientific manner involving experts from the disability sector. Despite a dharna by NCPEDP on the issue in February last year, the situation remains the same.”

He also said, “We do concede that there are some services where people with disabilities may not fit such as the Indian Police Service, but there is no reason or logic to believe that a disabled person cannot execute the duties of an Officer of the Indian Railway Accounts Service or the Indian Civil Accounts Service.”

Emphasising the need for a clear cut policy for recruitment of disabled people in Civil services, he recommended that the identification of Civil Services for disabled people should be done in a scientific manner, restriction of number of attempts be removed for disabled people as in the case of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates and hearing impaired candidates be exempted from the compulsory language paper, as mandated under the Disability Act 1995.