24 January 2017 Current Affairs: The Union Government has constituted committee (Working Group) to frame uniform rules for the states to avoid delay in proper implementation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 across the country.
The Committee will be headed by Secretary from Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). It will submit its report within three months.
It will comprise of representatives from the Union Ministry of Health, DoPT, Labour, Legislative Department and representatives from NGOs as members. It will also have Principal Secretary/Secretary, Social Welfare Department from Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
Suggest model draft rules for the states in order to have a uniform rules across the country and also to avoid delay in finalization of rules by any state.
The Act was notified in December 2016, after it received assent of President. It comprehensively covers a whole spectrum of problems from physical disabilities to mental illness and multiple disabilities under it. It raises number of disabilities from 7 to 21.
It also raises reservation in government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities from present 3% to 4% and in higher education from 3% to 5% per cent.
It includes mental illness, autism, spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, speech and language disability, sickle cell disease, deaf ,blindness, acid attack and Parkinsons disease under the definition of disability. The Act aims to bring Indian laws in line with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which India became a signatory in 2007.
Once it comes into effect, every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years will have the right to free education.