Volume 4 Issue 3 - February 01, 2006

Stop discrimination against disabled civil services aspirants, N.C.P.E.D.P. urges Union Government

D.N.I.S. New Network - Union Service Public Commission (U.P.S.C.) has starkly different norms for the number of attempts that are allowed to disabled category candidates as against their peers from social minority groups for appearing in the Civil Services Exams.

It is a chilling display of legislative provisions for ensuring equality, guaranteed by the Constitution, being diluted by the sheer neglect of 70 million disabled citizens of India.

This difference in norms has inadvertently become a tool for discrimination within the reserved category candidates, hence leading to a denial of equal opportunity and full participation to disabled people at par with other disadvantaged groups. These exams, which produce India’s top-ranking bureaucrats, have in the past two decades emerged as the canvas of new India, reflecting political, economic and social empowerment of historically marginalised sections of society. But disabled people have been denied similar participation in these services despite a decade having passed by since The Disability Act mandated three per cent reservation in Government services.

On India’s 57th Republic Day, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) has joined the ever-strengthening demand by disabled candidates and organisations to end this discrimination.

In a letter to the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Suresh Pachouri, N.C.P.E.D.P. Executive Director Javed Abidi has said that while candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (S.C.) and Scheduled Tribes (S.T.) have unlimited number of attempts till the age of 35, and Other Backward Castes (O.B.C.) candidates have seven attempts till the age of 33; disabled candidates despite 10 years of age relaxation are not allowed more than four attempts.

“You would agree that people with disabilities face lot of impediments in accessing educational opportunities due to physical, economic, attitudinal and systemic barriers. These barriers result in delayed attempts at completing education and entering the job market,” says the letter while asking the Minister to issue necessary directions to U.P.S.C. for increasing the number of attempts for disabled civil service aspirants and allowing them unlimited attempts as in the case of S.C. and S.T. candidates.

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