Govt to increase central job and education quota for disabled to 4 per cent

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The Modi government has proposed an increase in reservation for the differently abled from 3 per cent to 4 per cent in public-sector jobs and educational institutions.

Right before the International Day of Disabled Persons, on December 3, the Narendra Modi government paved the way for a landmark initiative —increase in reservation for the differently-abled from 3 per cent to 4 per cent in public-sector jobs and educational institutions.

For the first time, the government has proposed reserving jobs for persons with intellectual disability and mental illness. The government introduced the Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill in the Rajya Sabha, a day before the International Day.

This ends a three-year wait for the Bill, which increases the number of disabilities from seven to 21. The biggest initiative is increase in reservation for jobs and educational institutions. Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment said that in the “Rights of Persons With Disabilities (RPWD) Bill, the Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept and the types of disabilities have been increased from the existing seven to 21. The Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.”

Addressing a press conference on the occasion of ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December)’, he further added that “Speech and language disability and specific learning disability have been added for the first time. Acid attack victims have also been included.”

So far, jobs and seats in educational institutions were reserved for three categories of disabilities —hearing, vision and orthopaedic impairment. Each of the three categories got one per cent reservation totalling to three per cent. Now another percentage point has been added opening up jobs and educational institutions for other categories including mental illness, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy.

The government would follow the set procedure of referring the matter to a committee, which would identify certain jobs that can be reserved for persons with intellectual disability. A group of ministers had examined the issue in detail — whether jobs could be entrusted to persons with mental illness. The matter was then referred to the Prime Minister’s Office, which also took independent views from medical and disability experts.

The final outlook was in favour of reserving jobs for them. The government is hoping to get political support for the Bill as both Houses are facing repeated adjournments. The Bill comes after a three-year delay.

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