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06 AUGUST, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, has been applauded by Disability Rights groups as a long awaited advancement from the previous law, a rights-based legislation that attempts to take the struggle of disabled community forward’. Critically examine the provisions of this Act. (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Osho Korde

    By passing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, the Parliament has adopted a radically transformative piece of legislation that addresses the concerns of arguably the most marginalized section of Indian society.

     The Bill strangely makes the clauses on non-discrimination in employment mandatory only in government establishments.
     The Bill continues with the 1995 act’s provision of having a chief commissioner and state commissioners.
     Despite a Supreme Court judgment in 2013 that reservations should be decided on the basis of the total number of vacancies in a particular cadre, rather than the posts identified by the government to be filled by persons with benchmark disabilities, the bill has stuck to the latter.
     Also, like it does for the institutions wanting to be registered as ones for PWDs, the bill does not specify the time frame for a certificate of disability to be issued.
     The amended bill does define public buildings and public facilities and services towards making such infrastructure accessible to PWDs in a “barrier-free” manner.
     It increases the number of recognised disabilities from 7 to 21. With this, the official count will obviously also rise and as per conservative estimates, that figure could be as high as 70-100 million.
     It lays down provisions to allow the central government to notify any other condition as a disability. Now individuals with at least 40% of a disability are also entitled to benefits such as reservations in education and employment, preference in government schemes and others.
     The bill sets the government a two-year deadline to ensure persons with disability get barrier-free access in all kinds of physical infrastructure and transport systems.
     It recognises the need for reservation for them in promotion and makes special mention of the rights of disabled women and children.
     2014 Bill had made violation of any provision of the Act punishable with a jail term of up to 6 months, and/or a fine of Rs 10,000.