Ahead of International Day of Disabled Persons on December 3, the Narendra Modi government has paved the way for a landmark initiative increase in reservation for the differentlyabled from 3% to 4% in public sector jobs and educational institutions.
For the first time, the government would reserve jobs for persons with intellectual disability and mental illness. The government would introduce the Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill in Rajya Sabha.
This would end a three-year wait for the Bill, which increases the number of disabilities from 7 to 21. The biggest initiative is increase in reservation for jobs and educational institutions.
So far, jobs and places in educational institutions were reserved for three categories of disabilities –hearing, visually and orthopaedically impaired.
The three categories each got 1% reservation totaling up to 3%. Now another percentage point has been added opening up jobs and educational institutions for other categories including mental illness, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy. The government would follow the set procedure of referring the matter to a committee, which would identify certain jobs that can be reserved for persons with intellectual disability.
A senior official told ET, “There are several repetitive jobs, like in a laundry, which persons with intellectual disabilities do very well. These will be identified.” The move to reserve jobs for people with intellectual disabilities comes after much debate within the government.
AGroup of Ministers had examined the issue in detail whether jobs could be entrusted to persons with mental illness. The matter was then referred to Prime Minister’s Office, which also took independent views from medical and disability experts.
The final view was in favour of reserving jobs for them. The government is hoping to get political support for the Bill as both Houses are facing repeated adjournments. The Bill comes after a three-year delay. It had been introduced under UPA-II in February 2014 when the government pushed for a 5% quota for the disabled.
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