Bill on Job Quota for Disabled in RS - The New Indian Express

Bill on Job Quota for Disabled in RS

Published: 08th February 2014 07:46 AM

Last Updated: 08th February 2014 07:46 AM

The Centre on Friday introduced the Rights to Persons with Disabilities Bill, which seeks to increase the reservation quota for disabled in public sector jobs and seats in higher educational institution, even as the Opposition asked for it to be referred to the standing committee.

Amidst the din, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mallikarjun Kharge introduced the Bill in the first few minutes of the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

Immediately after the minister said that he had introduced the Bill, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury asked for the Bill to be sent to the standing committee for further examination.

“Sir, please refer this Bill to the Standing Committee,” Yechury said amidst sloganeering at the well on the Telangana and Tamil fishermen issues.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said that House Chair Hamid Ansari “would consider sending it to the standing committee”. He then adjourned the House again - the second time since Friday morning.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014,defines for the first time the meaning of disability and extended it from seven to 19 categories. It includes sickle cell disease, thalassemia and muscular dystrophy besides autism spectrum disorder, blindness, cerebral palsy, chronic neurological conditions, mental illness and multiple disability.

The reservation quota has been increased from three per cent to five per cent. Earlier, the reservation was to be distributed in ratio of 1 per cent each for physically, visually and hearing impaired, but the proposed legislation will extend the quota by 2 per cent - covering two new categories like mentally disabled and multiple disabilities.

A National Commission for Persons with Disabilities will also be set up with statutory powers, besides setting up a National Fund for Persons with Disabilities.

The new Bill provides for stringent punitive measures under which anyone violating the provisions could face from six months to five years in prison and a fine from `10,000 to `5 lakh.

The Bill will replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunity Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act of 1995. Rights activists have given mixed reception that several provisions have been dropped making the Bill ineffective.

The Centre has maintained that the Bill is in consonance with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which India signed in 2007.

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