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M.S.J.E. doesn’t consider disabled doctors fit for teaching jobs

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Dr Satendra Singh, a disabled Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences (U.C.M.S.), Delhi University, applied for the post of Assistant Professor (Physiology) in the Teaching Specialist Sub-cadre of Central Health Service. However, Dr Singh did not receive any interview call from U.P.S.C.

“It is not easy to gather information at U.P.S.C. desk-counters and one is allowed to talk only on their intercoms. When I contacted their recruitment cell, they told me that as I am a disabled person, I am not fit to apply for such posts,” informed Dr Singh.

This is not the first instance where a disabled person has been subjected to such “arbitrary” behaviour. “I explained that I am already working on the same post in U.C.M.S. and my disability is no hindrance. But, to this they said that U.P.S.C. is only a recruiting body and as per Health Ministry’s notification their hands are tied,” said Dr Singh.

On Dr Singh’s complaint, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) investigated the matter and as suspected, it was found that the said post was not ‘identified’ even for people with orthopaedic disability!

N.C.P.E.D.P. then brought the matter to the urgent attention of the Health Ministry. Thanks to the speedy intervention made by Additional Secretary, Keshav Desiraju, the matter was resolved well within time.

A fax was sent by the Health Ministry to U.P.S.C. stating, “It has been decided that Dr Singh and other similarly placed candidates, if any, may be called for the interview. A detailed clarification in this regard will follow shortly”.

The sole responsibility for this episode rests on the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.). It is they who are responsible for this ugly business entitled “identification of jobs”. How many lives have been adversely impacted and how many disabled people have lost out on jobs and even promotions is anybody’s guess.

What is extremely surprising and distressing is that even the new draft law has not moved away from the concept of identification of jobs. As long as this concept stays, hundreds and thousands of discriminatory incidents like this one will continue to happen.