The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) welcomes the judgement by Supreme Court directing the Centre and all state governments to provide three per cent job reservation to disabled persons in all their departments, companies and institutions.
The bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam while clarifying that the principle of not exceeding more than 50 per cent reservation would not be applicable while granting quota for disabled persons, has directed that authorities compile the number of vacancies in all their departments to give jobs to disabled persons under the three per cent reserved quota within three months.
Three per cent reservations in Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ posts have been in existence since 1977, even before the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act came into force in 1996. The Act mandates that every appropriate government shall “appoint in every establishment such percentage of vacancies not less than three per cent for persons or class of persons with disabilities……………. in posts identified for each disability”.
However, this has been wrongly interpreted by governments to mean that these reservations are against “identified posts” only. Only around 10 per cent of the posts have been identified for employment of persons with disabilities.
Section 32 of the Act also mandates that governments “at periodical intervals not exceeding three years, review the list of posts identified and up-date the list taking into consideration the developments in technology”.
However, the list of identified posts for persons with disabilities was last prepared by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 2007. The fact that though more than six years have elapsed since the list was last revised, displays the utter callous and insensitive attitude of the government.
Unemployment among the disabled is as high as 66 per cent. Studies indicate that employment of disabled persons even in the government sector is as low as 0.5 per cent and in pubic sector industries it is 0.4 per cent only.
The NPRD demands that the government implement the Supreme Court directives with regard to compiling the number of vacancies within the stipulated time and also immediately review and update the list of identified posts immediately.