IITs asked to stop using disability photos in applications

  • Shradha Chettri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 03, 2015 00:23 IST

The court of the chief commissioner of persons with disability (CCPD) has asked IITs to stop making physically-challenged applicants of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) JEE-Advanced fill forms and attach a picture of their disability as it amounts to discrimination. The CCPD wrote to IIT-Bombay on October 28.

Around 1.5 lakh students, who qualify the JEE Mains, are eligible to sit for the JEE Advance. Of the total seats, 3% is reserved for students with disability.

“IITs should stop using the form and adhere to the format of disability certificate as provided in the People with Disability Amendment Rules 2009,” reads the letter from the commissioner.

The CCPD has also said that the candidature of the candidates should not be cancelled on the basis of a different format of the disability certificate.

The CCPD also asked the IITs to provide the details of action taken within 30 days from the receipt of the letter. The matter was highlighted after Professor Satendra Singh, co-ordinator of the enabling unit of the University College of Medical Sciences (University of Delhi), filed a complaint with the court of commissioner.

“In July this year, I received an email from a student about IIT using a different disability performa. Earlier too, I had raised a similar issue with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) form. Since it is a violation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Amendment Rules, 2009, which clearly states that a photograph of the face is required in the disability certificate, I wrote to the commissioner,” said Singh.

Earlier too, on Singh’s complaint, the court of CCPD had directed the UPSC to withdraw similar performa asking candidates to attach photo ‘showing’ disability. So in November 2014, the UPSC complied with the commissioner’s letter and discontinued the discriminatory performa.

Students who have gone through this process think it was not required.

“When a disability certificate from a doctor was being submitted, why was there a need to show one’s disability? Such discriminatory rules need to be abandoned all together and authorities need to be more sensitive towards people with disability,” said a first-year computer science student at IIT-Khargapur.

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