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Rejected in IAS due to disability

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New Delhi: Admission to the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) is the dream of hundreds of thousands of Indians every year.


However, Kumar Avikal Manu's dream turned into a nightmare when after clearing the exam, he was rejected by an insensitive bureaucracy because of a partial disability in one hand.


The 30-year-old would have been a part of the elite civil services today as an officer of the Indian Revenue Service but fate, and an insensitive Government dealt him a cruel hand.


Avikal had cleared the UPSC exams in 2004 and in May 2005, he received a letter from the Department of Personnel and Training. The letter stated that he had cleared his civil services exams and was being considered.



But things took a turn for the worst when he did not hear a word from the Government after August 2005. He is still wondering what the 48 per cent disability in his right hand got to do with DOPT becoming mute.


"Because of this attempt of DOPT, I have suffered mental and psychological harassment, and loss of valuable time," says Avikal.


Gradually losing hope, Avikal approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) in October 2006.


In December last year, the CIC pulled up DOPT for its lackadaisical approach. But with the DOPT continuing to be silent on this case, the CIC is now contemplating even more serious action.


The commission now believes that this case is important and deserves a rare full-bench hearing.


Only half a dozen cases have been heard by a full bench so far. It can only mean that the CIC is now going to give the DOPT an earful.


"The matter has been referred to the full commission to give its own judgement on the issue," says Information Commissioner MM Ansari.


Interestingly, the DOPT is the nodal agency for the implementation of the RTI act and every effort to get in touch with the department and secure their version of the story has not yielded results.


There is no explanation why the DOPT is making this discrimination and this is not the first time when successful but physically challenged candidates have leveled such an allegation against the department.


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I believe as per law all the citizen has equal opportunity. Parliament has enacted




in all fairness to ensure the rights of the disabled.


Lets hope with RTI this will be implemented in right spirit.

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Dear Friends,


I wonder why Vikal has been made to undergo all that. The following press-release of the Govt. of India that came some time in July 2007 speaks volumes of the efforts that are intended to be put in. Has any one got some update on the present scenario? Has Vikal got his due?


Here is the Press release:


Friday, April 27, 2007



To improve access and increase the representation of the physically challenged persons in the Civil Services under the central government, the government has decided that any physically challenged person, selected on the standards as applicable to the non-disabled candidate of his category, will be counted over and above the quota fixed for physically challenged persons. This would be exactly on the lines as it happens for SC/ST/OBC candidates.


It has also been decided that the physically challenged persons belonging to the General Category shall be eligible for seven attempts as against existing four attempts. The physically challenged persons belonging to the OBC Category and SC/ST category would continue to be eligible for seven and unlimited attempts respectively. Additional relaxation of 10 years in the upper age limit for physically challenged persons will be continued.


The Government has also decided that while reservation for the three categories of disability (visual impairment, hearing impairment and locomotor disability or cerebral palsy) shall be made separately, the interchange in the vacancies among the three categories would be possible in case of non-availability of persons of a specified category. A specially constituted Medical Board with experts in the area will examine physically challenged persons so that fair, consistent reports are available.


To ensure the full utilisation of quota for physically challenged persons, it has been decided to treat the backlogs with respect to physically challenged persons in the same way as backlogs for the SC/ST categories.


Union Public Service Commission will recommend physically challenged candidates after ensuring that they meet the prescribed eligibility criteria in terms of abilities/disabilities for identified services where vacancy exists. The eligibility for availing reservation against the quota for physically challenged persons would be the same as described in the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. Specific eligibility criteria as set by the Government for identified services/posts would have to be met by physically disables candidates. The implementation of these decisions shall be with prospective effect.



Source: PIB Press Release



SC Vashishth

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The health ministry and UPSC are still insensitive to physically challenged. Here is an example quoted in DNIS:


Dr Satendra Singh, a disabled Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences (U.C.M.S.), Delhi University, applied for the post of Assistant Professor (Physiology) in the Teaching Specialist Sub-cadre of Central Health Service. However, Dr Singh did not receive any interview call from U.P.S.C.

“It is not easy to gather information at U.P.S.C. desk-counters and one is allowed to talk only on their intercoms. When I contacted their recruitment cell, they told me that as I am a disabled person, I am not fit to apply for such posts,” informed Dr Singh.


This is not the first instance where a disabled person has been subjected to such “arbitrary” behaviour. “I explained that I am already working on the same post in U.C.M.S. and my disability is no hindrance. But, to this they said that U.P.S.C. is only a recruiting body and as per Health Ministry’s notification their hands are tied,” said Dr Singh.


On Dr Singh’s complaint, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (N.C.P.E.D.P.) investigated the matter and as suspected, it was found that the said post was not ‘identified’ even for people with orthopaedic disability!


N.C.P.E.D.P. then brought the matter to the urgent attention of the Health Ministry. Thanks to the speedy intervention made by Additional Secretary, Keshav Desiraju, the matter was resolved well within time.


A fax was sent by the Health Ministry to U.P.S.C. stating, “It has been decided that Dr Singh and other similarly placed candidates, if any, may be called for the interview. A detailed clarification in this regard will follow shortly”.


The sole responsibility for this episode rests on the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.). It is they who are responsible for this ugly business entitled “identification of jobs”. How many lives have been adversely impacted and how many disabled people have lost out on jobs and even promotions is anybody’s guess.


What is extremely surprising and distressing is that even the new draft law has not moved away from the concept of identification of jobs. As long as this concept stays, hundreds and thousands of discriminatory incidents like this one will continue to happen.



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