Saturday, June 6, 2015

Are we rejecting Color Blind Civil Services candidates because of an oversight?



Civil Services Examination is conducted in terms of the provisions of Civil Services Examination (CSE) Rules notified by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Government of India. Rule 21 of these rules provide that a candidate must be in good mental and bodily health and free from any physical defect likely to interfere with the discharge of his duties as an officer of the service. A candidate, who after such medical examination as the Central Government or the Appointing Authority, as the case may be, may prescribe, is found not to satisfy these requirements, will not be appointed.  The Central Government constituted Central Standing Medical Boards (CSMB) in the seven designated hospitals in Delhi for conduct of medical examination of candidates in CSE.



Medical examination of these candidates are being conducted in seven designated hospitals in Delhi viz. Safdarjung Hospital, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital, Succheta Kriplani Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital and BR Ambedkar Hospital.



However, a medical oversight in the medical examination is hampering the careers of civil service candidate with color blindness.  High grade Color Vision is required for 'Technical' posts like IPS, Other Police Services, 1RTS and RPF. Low Grade Colour Vision or in other words Color blindness is acceptable for 'Non-technical' services (rest of the services under CSE).



With respect to color vision, the point number 11(f) on page 18 of the “Appendix III Regulations relating to the physical examination of candidates” (http://persmin.gov.in/ais1/Docs/Appendix-III.pdf ) states:



11(f) Color Vision: Color Vision will be examined with the help of following two techniques:



1. Edrige Green's Lantern technique: Color perception should be graded into higher and lower grade depending upon the size of aperture in the lantern as described in the table below:-

Grade 
Higher grade color perception
Lower grade color perception
1
2
3
Distance between the lamp and candidate
16 ft
16 ft
Size of aperture 
1.3 mm.
13mm.
Time of exposure
5 seconds
5 seconds



2. Ishihara's Plates.



Earlier, Ishihara's plates were used aloe to test color perception. Now Lantern test is used to grade the color perception. The above table is the cause of controversy. Those who fail 'higher grade color perception' are color blind but subjecting them further to 'lower grade color perception' test further classify candidates into pass/fail which is immaterial as all applicant with color blindness are FIT for Non-Technical posts as per rules.



The table makes no mention of candidates with lower grade of color perception who are unable to identify all the colors when the size of the aperture is 13mm.

If such candidates are found fit in all other respects, it is unfair to declare them “UNFIT FOR ALL POSTS” as is being done at present. Instead they should be declared “UNFIT FOR TECHNICAL” on account of low grade color perception.



As per the medical experts, the table above should be modified as follows so as to remove this injustice to a section of persons with low grade color perception:



1. Edrige Green's Lantern technique: Colour perception should be graded into higher and lower grade as described in the table below:-

Distance between the lamp and candidate
16 ft
Size of aperture 
1.3 mm
Time of exposure
5 seconds
Interpretation
Makes no errors: High grade color perception
Makes even one error when tested twice after 15 minutes of dark adaptation: Low grade color perception*



*The possibility that persons who fail the lantern test as described above have no color vision is remote since total color blindness is extremely rare:

1. When total color blindness is due to rod monochromism, the vision is poor and there is nystagmus – rendering such a candidate unfit for techical posts. They may, however, be fit for those nontechnical posts where persons with visual disability can be employed.

2. When total color blindness is due to cone monochromism, the vision may be normal and there is no reason to believe that such people cannot hold nontechnical posts.



I wrote to Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities but since 'Color Blindness' is NOT  a disability (less than 40% and otherwise) so they can not do anything. I then wrote to both Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as well as Secretary, DoPT but there has been no response so far.

I have requested them to urgently intervene in the matter and pass appropriate instructions so that:

A)  All those candidates who are found fit in all other aspects but fail to to identify all the colors (in lower grade of perception) when the size of the aperture is 13mm SHOULD NOT be declared "unfit for all posts". 

B). As color blindness is just an impairment and these candidates are fit otherwise, these should be considered for "Non-technical' posts.

C). All such candidates who have been declared "unfit for all posts" in all the 7 hospitals should be reexamined and placed under "fit for Non- technical" category.

D). An urgent notification should be issued since the medical examinations are currently going on.

I hope our Government take urgent steps so that qualified color blind civil services candidates are not unduly rejected because of an medical oversight.


Impact

'The Hindu' carried the news next day. Here is the link:

Consider color-blind CSE aspirants for non-technical posts (Hindu, 7 June 2015)

15 comments:

  1. still unclear whether ifos is technical or non technical

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  2. Sir it really useful. It need government circulation

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  3. good attempt for a clarity over an issue and iam a colour blind ,my question is are there any instances who have been selected in to non technical[ias and ifs]posta ,so that it boosts my confidence.

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  4. iam a colour blind I want to know are there any instances of candidates who are selected for cse nontechnical posts such as ias and ifs.if so please provide me details,it boosts my confidence,because it is the only factor which is hindering to become me as an ias,pease respond for this

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  5. Sir as far as I know they take colorblindness test for only those post where color vision is required. It is clearly mentioned in medical requirements when the forms are out. So this question doesn't arise at all. By the way I am too colorblind.

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    1. Being a doc, I can assure you that I have seen the above happening in both technical and non technical posts and candidates have been rejected.

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    2. Being a doc, I can assure you that I have seen the above happening in both technical and non technical posts and candidates have been rejected.

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    3. No offence sir. It's a good move by you. But still there are few non technical posts where colorblinds are barred. Such as for some posts in income-tax and almost all posts in RTO in A and B1 posts in railways, And if they are taking colorblindness test for posts where during notification it's clearly mentioned "color vision is not required" then they are going against the law. I have clearly seen in notifications.So such candidates can take legal step against them. I would request you to take one more step to pressure and make government understand to set clear standards for colorblinds in Private Companies, especially in MNCs.Because some of them rejects colorblind candidates even it's not requirement for the post. Like in software engineering. Because each website, each phones operating system interface, everything is designed by keeping colorblinds in mind, because out of every 12 men 4 are colorblind and out if every 200 women 1 is colorblind.Its not of much problem outside India.But guess our Indian Government is least bothered about it. To be honest it becomes too much difficult for a candidate to secure job while he or she is colorblind.

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    4. Sir this initiative started by you is worth praising. Atleast someone took it.But I would like to inform you that there are many non tech posts like few posts in incometax, all posts in RTO, A and B1 posts in Railways where colorblinds are barred. Also in employment advertisement its clearly mentioned that for xyz post colorblindness is a disqualification. So if these people they are rejected for the post where it was mentioned that colorblindness is not a disqualification, then they can challenge it legally as its in no way acceptable that authorities take colorblindness test and reject candidates. Secondly government sector employs a small fraction of population. The major problem is faced by candidates in private sector too, where MNCs reject candidates based on Color Blindness even if no color identification is required to perform the job. For eg designing software.Because every software like phones user interface, windows , websites etc are all designed by keeping in mind the colorblind candidates.Because every 4 out of 12 men and 1 out of 200 women suffer from colorblindness. Outside india, its not a problem to secure employment unless the job requires the ability to identify certain colors. There are very strict norms which bars employer from rejecting the colorblind candidate unless his/ her job doesn't require color identification. Guess our Indian government either dont have any knowledge of this problem or simply they dont bother because of large employable population in our country. So any step from a guy of high caliber like you in private sector will definitely help us.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. What if anyone has already selected and doing govt job in technical dept. for many years.

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  8. Great writing it is such a good and nice idea thanks for sharing your article .I like your post. 

    physiotherapy clinic in HSR Layout

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  9. Sir, Can we fight for these?
    Can PIL will work?

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  10. Colour Blindness is not a disease, it is a genetic disorder. It decreases the contrast of colours. There is no treatment of colour blindness in this world. Each plate in Ishihara Test Chart Book having only two colours RED and GREEN , others colours are complementary, red and green colours. When we will tell you what colour you have seen on plates and where, you will start reading immediately. You will be able to read all plates on the same day and will be freed only after you read all the plates. Normally it takes only 1 day. In case of severe disorder, you have stay for one more day. In 99% case only one day is sufficient. You have to practice15-20 days at your home for speed and accuracy. This system is totally based on colour differentiation and brain mapping and you will identify colours. You will be able to read such Ishihara books which normal person may hardly read. You will leave us only after you read all pages.
    For More information please visit; www.ishihara38.com

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    Replies
    1. What about edrige green lantern ??

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