Monday, October 13, 2014

Finally UPSC asked to withdraw its 'discriminatory proforma' for disabled applicants

UPSC directed to withdraw its ‘discriminatory proforma’

The hindu, october 8 

The format asks applicants to paste ‘photo showing disability’

The Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has directed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to withdraw its “discriminatory performa”. It has directed the UPSC to refrain from asking differently-abled people to submit photographs showing their disabilities and to consider the ‘permanent disability certificate’ issued from a government hospital as a valid proof.

The action comes following an intervention by Satendra Singh, who has been working in the area of disability rights and had written to the UPSC against “its discriminatory policies”.

“Despite having a valid disability certificate, the UPSC asks all applicants to use their own format for disability certificate. This is against the existing guidelines but nobody challenged the UPSC. Moreover, the format asks applicants to paste ‘photo showing disability’, which is not only discriminatory but also infringement of right to privacy. An example – how can an amputee female attach her photograph?’’ asked Dr. Singh.

He added that in a follow-up to his complaint, he also quoted the Amended Persons with Disabilities Rules 2009, which were circulated to all the Ministries/Departments.

“The amended rules show the format to be used for disability certificate and none of them asks ‘to showcase disability’,” said the physician.

He further pointed out that Rule 6 of the same order clearly states that a certificate issued under Rule 4 is to be generally valid for all purpose. “When a person already has a valid government certificate of permanent disability why does he have to get his disability certificate again in the prescribed form of the UPSC?’’ questioned Dr. Singh.

The Court of CCPD accepting the plea presented by Dr. Singh has now passed a direction to the UPSC to accept disability certificate issued by government hospitals in the existing format.

In its letter to UPSC, the Court has noted: “The Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has directed to accept the disability certificate of the persons with disabilities in the existing format. Your comments in the matter are to reach Court within 20 days of the recipient of the communication (dated September 22).”

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