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Amendments to Right to Education Act tabled in Rajya Sabha

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: Finally, the Bill for Amendments to the Right to Education Act has been tabled in the Rajya Sabha. These amendments will ensure that disability is not left out from the ambit of the legislation. The definition of disability will now cover all disabilities as given in the Disability Act of 1995 and the National Trust Act of 1999. The amendments would also ensure that children with disabilities would be covered under the ‘disadvantaged group’.

It may be noted that the disability sector was in uproar when the Right to Education Bill was tabled in the Parliament last year. There were two major points of contention:

  1. Where the Act defined 'disadvantaged children', it talked about SC/ST children and other minority groups, but it had no word at all about children with disabilities.

  2. Where the Act defined 'disability', it took the meaning as given only in the Disability Act, 1995. This Act covers people with physical disabilities only. For this very reason, the National Trust Act was enacted in 1999 which covers Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Disabilities.

It was only after the personal intervention of Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh that the Bill was tabled and passed in the Parliament with a firm promise to bring in early amendments to address these issues.

Click here to read the amendments tabled in the Rajya Sabha