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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

PIL says AIIMS not providing adequate reservation to disabled in PG, HC seeks reply

cities Updated: Nov 19, 2019 23:19 IST
Hindustantimes
         

New Delhi

The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on a PIL that said the institution was not providing adequate reservation to persons with disabilities (PWD) in its post-graduate seats.

Of the 435 seats advertised for PG courses at AIIMS, only one seat was allotted to a person with disability, it said, and claimed the premier medical institute has not been following provisions of the persons with disabilities act.

The court issued a notice to AIIMS and directed it to file a reply within four weeks.

“This is blatant flouting of the norms Act, which states 5% of the seats must be reserved for persons with disabilities. This should be around 21 of the 435 seats. The ministry of human rights development ranked AIIMS at No1 among medical colleges; these ranks are based on five criteria, including one on diversity and inclusion as well,” said Dr Satendra Singh, disability activist and physiologist at University College of Medical Sciences.

Singh had filed a Right to Information application on which the PIL is based.

“In the three calls for admission to PG courses given by AIIMS during 2018 and first half of 2019, only one candidate with disability was selected. How is this possible? Does this mean that there is just one eligible person with disability in the entire country? This is AIIMS, everyone wants to study here,” said Gaurav Bansal, the advocate who filed the PIL on behalf of Prahari Sahyog Association.

The RTI reply from the academic section of AIIMS states that 130 seats had been advertised during the January 2018 round, when no candidate with disability had been selected.

In the July 2018 round, 198 seats had been advertised and one person with disability had been selected. And, 107 seats had been advertised during the January 2019 round and again no one with disability had been selected.

Officials said this could likely be because of people refusing seats based on their merit.

“For persons with disability, it is a horizontal quota, but at AIIMS we ensure every opportunity is given. The candidates are selected on a merit basis, but we have had cases where the persons with disability refused seats because they could not get the subject of their choice. The seats are filled up with general category students only if we are unable to fill the seats after three rounds of counselling,” said Dr Sanjeev Lalwani, registrar at AIIMS.

“After a candidate with disability is selected, their joining depends on getting a fitness certificate from a medical board. For example, a person with missing limbs might not be suitable for a surgical discipline,” he said.

He said he did not have information about the current PIL.