Rajya Sabha passes Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill
The bill will be sent back to Lok Sabha and once it got a green signal, will replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014 amending the list of disabilities from 7 to 19. Cerebral palsy, haemophilia, multiple sclerosis, autism, thalassaemia and disabilities resulting from acid attacks and Parkinson’s Disease were included in the list along with other changes.
The bill will be sent back to Lok Sabha and once it gets a green signal, will replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill (2014) as amended passed in Rajya Sabha #WinterSession
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Job reservation quota for disabled persons has hiked from 3% to 5%. Adding the right to free education for children aged between ages of 6 and 18 and suffering from “benchmark disability” was one of the proposed amendments.
Reservation for students with disabilities has increased to 4% from 3%. Officials said the amendments including greater accessibility to public transport, were in line with United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Activists and commentators doubt that the Centre will dilute the provisions of the bill. The Indian Express reported that the recommendations of the Sudha Kaul Committee, under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment were the foundation of the Bill.
The 2011 census estimates the number of differently abled persons in the country around 2.68 crores, 2.21% of the population. The bill was first drafted in 2014 when it was observed as a long overdue measure as there was no national policy on disabilities till the 1990s.