Showing posts with label Civil Services. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil Services. Show all posts

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Visually Impaired continue to face discrimination in Civil Services

Dear Friends,

Despite the PM's intervention in ensuring that the Civil Services opened their doors to the persons with disability especially those with visual disability, the silent discrimination continues. The case of Rajesh is a live testimony to this discrimination. And this is despite Supreme Court's order in the favour of the candidate directing DoPT to appoint him in Civil Services!

It is the same DOPT which continued to take examination in Braille  and giving the VH scribes to write UPSC examination without making an effort to identify any posts for them when they were pulled up by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

We all know, how difficult it is to clear the interview where, many times such insensitive people sit across you who know nothing about disability etiquettes throwing queries questioning your abilities on the basis of perceived disability! And then the apathy and bias attitude of  the DoPT.

This needs to change forthwith if India is to ensure true equality to its citizen with disabilities. Stern action should be taken against the erring officers to set examples that the policies and Act are not defied right under the nose of the Union Government.

Read here the revelation brought out by Bhuvan Bagga for Mail Today.

Click here to view the news from Mail Today in image form 

Babus blind to his merit (Mail Today)

By Bhuvan Bagga in New Delhi

Visually impaired man not given posting even 3 yrs after clearing civil services 

RAJESH Kumar Singh had a dream that soured — one, because he is visually impaired and two, because he is not well connected. This 25- year- old had cracked the prestigious civil services examination three years ago while he was still doing his masters in modern Indian history from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

But what happened next broke his spirit. Despite bagging the third rank in the disabled category, the department of personnel and training ( DoPT) refused to give Singh a posting.

“I don’t know when I will get my chance. Now it seems the examination was easier to handle, but not this inherent bias in the system against people with special needs like us,” says Rajesh.

Disheartened, he approached the Supreme Court and after a prolonged legal battle, the court decided in his favour. But another shocker for him was on the way.

A candidate, who was ranked below him in the same category, received a posting while he was still waiting for a response after the court order. Allegedly, it so happened that the favoured candidate was related to a DoPT official.

He knocked at the Supreme Court’s doors for the second time on October 21 this year. The court once again issued notices to the government asking why he wasn’t given a posting despite its order and how a person with a lower rank got in.

“The system is entirely pitted against us. No one thinks we deserve, merit or should be a part of the bureaucracy. Even in my interview, a panelist asked me why I deserved to be in the service when I couldn’t even read or write as he did,” he said.

At that time Rajesh had politely shot back asking the interviewer “ if he could read or write like him, would he consider himself ineligible?” Incidentally, Rajesh is also an international cricketer who represented India in three world cups for the visually impaired. “ Two of these were in India and one in Pakistan. I am not just a meritorious candidate, but also a sportsperson,” he says.

However, he has received support from activists and political leaders who have written to the Prime Minister. MAIL TODAY has the copies of these letters in its possession. The letters name the senior DOPT officer and mention that Rajesh was ignored and a person with a lower rank was favoured.

Dr Naresh Kumar, a sociologist and general secretary of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee said, “ I have written a letter to the PM and asked for the removal of such officers who think themselves to be above the Supreme Court. I want to know how Ravi Prakash Singh, with a rank of 6, got into the IAS service while Rajesh is outside.” Rajesh is from Patna and had done his bachelors in history from Ramjas College. His father is a civil judge in Bihar. Two of his brothers are engineers and his sister is a doctor.

“There are times when even our families and closest persons can’t understand us. I have my fingers crossed and am hopeful that the law of the land gives me what I have earned. I don’t need sympathies, just give me what I worked so hard for,” Rajesh said.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DoPT fails to give IAS post to Hearing Impaired Aspirant despite clearing the exam thrice!

Dear Friends,

We saw a similar fight by few others including Shri Ravi Kumar, a candidate with Low vision who cleared Civil Services exams almost thrice and was denied by DoPT because no post was identified for disabled! Even after court's verdict, the PMO had to intervene and issue a consolation that posts have been identified for the disabled.

However, this case of Shri Maniram reveals the inherent apathy and lackadaisical attitude of the Govt. of India to include people with disability in the mainstream despite clearing their exams and competition at their own merit - forget about reservations and relaxation of standards!!

Such incidents only indicate that MSJE and GOI have failed the disabled segment, the PWD Act and the UNCRPD that India signed with so much fanfare! When this Government would stop looking at Disability from a medical angle of percentages ? If the person can prepare and clear the exams at his own merit at 100% disability then what is the fun of insisting a 70% disability to be eligible for which he has been made to undergo a cochlear implant? Now none of the Govt. Hospital has facility to measure the degree of disability!

It may be relevant to mention here that Shri Maniram is already working satisfatorily in Rajasthan Administrative Service having proved his mantle there but DOPT and Central Civil Services seem to purposefully perpetrate discriminatory exclusion agaisnt those with disabilities.

Is this because the central bureaucracy doesn't want the disabled segment in its fold? Is it because the DoPT doesn't know about abilities inherent in the human diversity such as those with hearing disability ? The issue is of attitude and approach which is negative and unwelcoming to those experiencing disabilities and should be condemned.

Such practices should be discouraged in the strongest words possible as these perpetrate the age old practice of looking at disability from medical model. Why can't the assistive aids and devices with modern technology be used to provide reasonable accommodation to Maniram to facilitate him a better and congenial working atmosphere?

I think the Govt. doesn't seem to have understood the concept of reasonable accommodation and their ignorance is proving to be so dear to thousands of aspirants. The inaction on the part of Govt. deserves shame and the sector should stand up united against such discrimination.

This is a fit case where he should be appointed immediately with all benefits like seniority of service, back pay and other benefits besides compensation for the mental agony and harassment suffered.

DoPT should be penalised for failing to facilitate his appointment since 2005 despite clear cut rulings of Courts, Directives from PMO and stated legal position! Has the gentleman filed any case in the court of law seeking immediate appointment and compensation?

Warm regards

S C Vashishth, Adv

Click here to read the article from source: Govt deaf to Maniram's cry for justice

Rema Nagarajan, TNN, 26 July 2009, 05:31 am IST

He's deaf and has cleared the civil services exam three times — in 2005, 2006 and 2009. And yet, he continues to be cheated of his dream job — joining the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The first time, Maniram Sharma was turned away by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) because there was no policy of accommodating a deaf candidate. The second time he cleared the exam, the policy bottleneck was sorted out. But with a rider — only candidates with less than 70% hearing disability qualify for the IAS provided they cleared the exam. Maniram, being 100% deaf, was not eligible for the service. But he didn't give up.

To improve his hearing, Maniram had a surgical cochlear implant, costing Rs 7.5 lakh. He appeared for the IAS again this year and achieved the highest score in the hearing-impaired category. But his medical examination categorized him as 70% disabled — just a shade higher than the qualifying disability level. The finding itself was strange. Of the 791 candidates selected this year, Maniram's score in the interview was among the top 50 (220/300). And he scored these marks in an interview that required direct interaction — an improbable feat if he were 70% disabled.

Previously, when Maniram had cleared the written exam and reached the interview stage, an LCD projector was used to put questions on a screen. That was in 2005 and 2006 when he was 100% deaf. ENT doctors in Delhi's RML Hospital, where he had his cochlear implant, have certified he has a 100% permanent hearing impairment, discounting the implant done by its own doctors which has now helped him hear.

The ENT doctors' board of Sawai Mansingh Hospital in Rajasthan, his home state, constituted to assess Maniram's hearing, has said that audiometry and other specific tests are required to assess hearing in a patient with a cochlear implant. And these were not available in the institute.

Dr J M Hans, former head of RML's ENT department, who conducted the surgery on Maniram says that the only way to measure the hearing of a person with cochlear implant is with an instrument called electrical BERA or "brainstem evoked response audiometry", which is not available in any government hospital. "The government ought to allow the test, which is available in the private sector, to be used by candidates," he says.

Dr Han's observation raises another question - if this instrument is not available in government hospitals, including RML, how did the doctors measure Maniram's hearing loss as over 70%?

Maniram is from Badangarhi, a remote village in Alwar district, which doesn't even have a school. He started losing his hearing at the age of five, becoming totally deaf by nine. His parents, both illiterate farm labourers, could do little to help. Yet, Maniram continued trudging to the nearest school, 5 km away and cleared class 10 standing fifth in the state board examination and cleared class 12 ranking seventh in the state board.

In his second year in college, he cleared the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) examination to become a clerk-cum-typist. He studied and worked during his final year and topped the university in Political Science. He went on to clear the NET (National Eligibility Test). He then gave up his RPSC job and became a lecturer. Not satisfied with that, he became a Junior Research Fellow and completed his Ph.D in Political Science during which time he taught M Phil and MA students in Rajasthan University.

Having completed his Ph.D, Maniram got through the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) and while in service he started trying for the civil services. Will his efforts be in vain?