DNIS News Network - The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that from next year onwards, two posts have been reserved for disabled persons in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
Counsel for Union Home Ministryís Department of Personnel and Training told a division bench comprising Chief Justice B.C. Patel and Justice B.D. Ahmed that two posts have been reserved for people with locomotor disability, hearing disability and visual impairment from 2005 onwards.
With this the government has also identified posts for disabled persons in seven of the 27 Civil Services.
Rigzian Samphel and Lokesh Kumar, disabled candidates, who had secured 120th and 132nd rank among the 286 successful candidates of Civil Service Examination 2003, got IAS after the court took suo motu cognizance of newspaper reports and intervened in the matter. The judges had impeded Disabled Rights activist Javed Abidi as party in the case to assist the Court in the matter.
Rigzian had come second among the ST candidates while Lokesh stood ninth among successful SC candidates. Going by normal procedure, they should have been given IAS, but they were given Indian Information Services. After sustained efforts and representations for almost an year, and due to the intervention of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, they were reallocated the Indian Administrative Service. They are currently undergoing training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy at Mussoorie (Uttranchal).
Admitting the gross error of not identifying posts for disabled in the Civil Services, the Central Government had said it would identify and make available such posts in as many Civil Services as possible, including the IAS. Earlier, deprecating the Centre for showing apathy towards the concern of disabled people, the High Court had directed the Union Government to respond to reports that disabled people were being denied jobs in the IAS. It also raised issues such as how a candidate could be disqualified for appointment to the Service when he competed in the general category and was selected on merit, or the issue of how a person who was allowed to sit in the examination could be denied entry to the Service.
Fourteen Services are still outside the reach of persons with disability, which includes Services such as Indian Postal Service, Indian Revenue Service, Indian Civil Accounts Service! Who is to blame for this mishap: the Social Justice Ministry, which is the nodal Ministry; or the Chief Commissionerís office, which has been established specifically for safeguarding the rights of disabled people? This has happened in spite of all the pressure that was created not just by the disability activists but also by the media!