Committee Setup on Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act

The Centre has formed a committee to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act across the country.

The Committee, constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will comprise representatives from the Ministry of Health, DoPT, Labour, Legislative Department, and representatives from NGOs as members.

It will also have Principal Secretary/Secretary, Social Welfare Department from Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh.

All the representatives of Ministries will be the rank of Joint Secretary and above, and the committee will submit its report within three months.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016:

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 came into effect on 30 December 2016. The Lok Sabha passed it on 17 December and the Rajya Sabha on 14 December.

The Act will replace the Persons with Disability (PwD) Act of 1995.

Salient features of the Act:

Reservation in vacancies in government establishments has been increased from 3% to 4% for certain persons or class of persons with benchmark disability.

Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.

District level committees will be constituted by the State Governments to address local concerns of PwDs.

Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

Broad-based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy-making bodies at the Central and State level.

Office of Chief Commissioner and those of the State Commissioners of Persons with Disabilities has been strengthened.

The Act says that any person who “intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with a disability in any place within public view” is punishable with imprisonment.