Accessibility August 29, 2018
Students with low vision can now pursue a career in medicine, Supreme Court bats for inclusion!
It is high time that RPWD 2016 got implemented on the ground in every aspect. This means giving people with disabilities the right to participate in education and employment shoulder to shoulder with everyone else.
In a major step towards inclusion, the Supreme Court had ruled in 2017 that colour blind candidates cannot be denied admissions to medical colleges. They have gone one step further now and said that even students with low vision can study medicine.
The matter was highlighted after Ahmedabad-based student Purswani Ashutosh was denied admission into am undergraduate medical course. The Medical Council of India (MCI) declared him unfit for the disabled quota, not even under RPWD 2016. It claimed that people with 40% vision or lower cannot be admitted to courses in dentistry or medicine.
Purswani’s hardships did not end there. When he approached concerned authorities for a disability certificate, they denied him that too. Also, they asked him to file a case with the Supreme Court.
Well known disability rights activist Dr Satendra Singh, has been leading the fight for equality in admissions for disabled students to medical courses along with 75 other doctors. He says the court order is a major victory with far reaching consequences.
There are already five pending similar cases in High Courts. The Supreme Court order will make things easier for petitioners. The MCI must never be denying admissions to disabled candidates, especially those who passed entrance exams in flying colours. Why would they show this discrimination? We are glad that justice has been served – Dr Satendra Singh, Disability rights activist
Under the disability quota, five disabled students must be provided admissions into medical seats. Government and private institutions must adhere to it as well. But the discrimination by MCI has spoilt the dreams of many students. But not anymore! Thanks to this fair and long overdue judgement by the Supreme Court.
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