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Disabled are Entitled to Same Benefits of SC/ST quota: SC

  • 13 Jul 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Supreme Court of India observed that persons suffering from disabilities are also socially backward and entitled to the same benefits of relaxation as Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe candidates in public employment and education.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • The decision came on a petition filed by Aryan Raj, a special needs person, against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order.
    • Raj was denied relaxation in minimum qualifying marks in the Painting and Applied Art course in the Government College of Arts, Chandigarh.
    • The college insisted that disabled persons too need to meet the general qualifying standard of 40% in the aptitude test, whereas SC/ST candidates were given a relaxation to 35%.
  • Upheld Delhi High Court Judgement:
    • In the Anmol Bhandari v. Delhi Technological University case (2012), the Delhi High Court held that people suffering from disabilities are also socially backward, and are therefore, at the very least, entitled to the same benefits as given to the Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe candidates.
    • New academic courses should be designed to specifically cater to the needs of intellectually disabled persons.
      • The Court observed the fact that intellectually/mentally challenged persons have certain limitations, which are not there in physically challenged persons.
  • Benefits to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe:
    • Article 15 (4) empowers the State to make special provision for the advancement of the SCs and the STs. E.g. providing fee concession in admission to any educational institution, building hostels for SCs/STs.
    • Article 15 (5) empowers the State to reserve seats for SCs and the STs in admission to educational institutions including private educational institutions, whether aided or unaided by the State.
      • However, it excludes minority educational institutions referred to in Article 30 (1).
    • Article 16 (4) empowers the State to make provisions for the reservation of appointments or posts in favour of SCs/STs.

Initiatives for Disabled in India

  • Rights of Person with Disabilities Act, 2016.
    • Under this, persons with disabilities are provided reservation of seats in government higher educational institutions (not less than 5%) and government jobs (not less than 4%).
  • Accessible India Campaign.
  • DeenDayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme.
  • Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP).
  • National Fellowship for Students with Disabilities (RGMF).
  • Schemes of the National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

Source: TH

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