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Visually impaired candidates discriminated by U.P.S.C., meet P.M.

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: A delegation of visually impaired persons who have been denied induction into the Civil Services, met the Prime Minister at the Parliament House complex on November 29, 2011, seeking his intervention in the matter. The delegation, accompanied by C.P.I.(M.) Politburo Member, Brinda Karat, brought this issue of gross violation of rights and the delay in rendering justice to the P.M.ís notice.

Ajit Kumar and Ashish Singh Thakur, and five other candidates, despite having cleared the Civil Service Examinations in 2008, were not inducted into the Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S.). On approaching the Central Administrative Tribunal (C.A.T.), it directed the Department of Personnel and Training (D.o.P.T.) to induct Ajit Kumar and Ashish Singh Thakur into the I.A.S. within eight weeks and gave six months time for the induction of the others into I.A.S. or allied services as per their ranks. However, the representations of five other candidates are still collecting dust in various departments of the Government.

The Union Public Service Commission (U.P.S.C.) sought an extension from C.A.T. and was given time till September 2011, but despite the extension the orders remain unimplemented.

This is not the first time that U.P.S.C. has discriminated based on disability, even though it goes against the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. Even the stipulated quota of 1 percent reservation for visually impaired candidates has not been filled. During the period 1996 to 2010, a total of 8812 vacancies were filled in the Civil Services. One percent would mean that at least 88 seats have to be reserved for visually impaired candidates. But the U.P.S.C. in reply to a R.T.I. query has responded that of the total 8812 vacancies, it has only recommended 29 visually impaired candidates for induction. These figures, though disputed, indicate that a backlog of 59 vacancies still remain.