Education November 14, 2020
Disabled candidates excluded from RCI’s admission list, NPRD seeks DEPwD intervention
The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)’s admissions policy has come under the scanner. The National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled has sought the urgent intervention of the Department of Empowerment for Persons with Disabilities in this regard.
The Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)’s admissions policy has come under a cloud following an allegation that. It is violating the reservation policy.
This is the charge made by the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) which has written a letter to the Secretary, Department of Empowerment for Persons with Disabilities, Government of India seeking her urgent intervention.
The letter refers to the list of candidates who have been enrolled by the RCI for diploma level courses for the 2020-21 academic year. Many people with disabilities have apparently been excluded from that list despite possessing the required qualifications.
RCI merit list excludes PwD candidates
The RCI had invited applications for admission through the centralised online admission process. Many candidates with disabilities had applied for these courses. The National Merit List for general candidates and those in the reserved categories was announced on 5 November.
Whereas many candidates with disabilities despite securing higher percentage of marks in the 12th examinations, on which basis the merit list has been prepared, find their names missing from the merit list, candidates with lesser marks from the general category have been selected. – Muralidharan Vishwanath, General Secretary, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled
Most institutions have only got two disabled candidates in their respective merit list, adds Vishwanath. “All other candidates who had mentioned PwD in the category have not even been considered despite their percentage being much higher than the lowest from the General category”.
Further, the merit list for Diploma in Teaching Indian Sign Language (DTSL), a course for which only candidates who are deaf are eligible to apply, has non-disabled candidates from the General category! They are not even eligible to apply for the course, points out NPRD.
As per the reservation policy, when candidates with disabilities have marks equivalent to or higher than those from the General category, disabled candidates shall be considered as General category with seats allotted to them under this.
Denial violates laws
“Denial of such seats in the General category to disabled candidates with higher marks militates against the principles of natural justice and is in violation of laws and precedents as also against the reservation policy followed by the central and state governments”, says Vishwanath.
The NPRD letter cites several legal precedents that back this as well.
Under these circumstances, the NPRD has asked the DEPwD to intervene urgently and set aside the RCI’s merit list especially as the admission process is already underway and will close on 16 November.