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Aspirants with over 80% disability may be able to study medicine

The health ministry will test a candidate’s percentage of disability while using an assistive device, such as a hearing aid, crutches and prosthetic limb, in deciding on their admission to medical colleges.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2019 10:25 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India news,Board of Governors-Medical Council of India,UG
The health ministry will test a candidate’s percentage of disability while using an assistive device, such as a hearing aid, crutches and prosthetic limb, in deciding on their admission to medical colleges. (HT PHOTO/Image for representation.)

In a move that could bring relief to thousands of aspiring doctors who are differently abled, the health ministry will test a candidate’s percentage of disability while using an assistive device, such as a hearing aid, crutches and prosthetic limb, in deciding on their admission to medical colleges.

Currently, candidates with more than 80% disability, without use of assistive device, are not eligible to study medicine. The health ministry listed 21 benchmark disabilities last year for admission to medical colleges.

“If the disability percentage is below 80 with the use of an assisted device, a candidate will be eligible to apply to study medicine. It will be applicable to UG and PG courses,” a health ministry official said on condition of anonymity. The Board of Governors-Medical Council of India (BoG-MCI) approve the proposal last month.

“Yes, we are in the process of putting out a revised notification that will expand the eligibility ambit for students with disability,” confirmed Dr VK Paul, chairperson of BoG-MCI.

With 5% seats across government colleges reserved for persons with disability mentioned under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, around 8,000 UG and 10,000 PG seats are reserved for specially abled candidates who pass NEET. From the 2019-20 session, the number of centres authorised to give disability certificates has also been increased from four to 10.

“This will bring clarity and increase the number of eligible candidates with disabilities,” says Dr Satendra Singh, a disability rights activist and associate professor of physiology, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi.

The minimum degree of disability should be 40% to be eligible for availing of reservation to persons with specified disabilities.

Enabling Rules

The 21 benchmark disabilities under the new rule are: blindness, low-vision, leprosy cured persons, hearing impairment (deaf and hard of hearing), locomotor disability, dwarfism, intellectual disability, mental Illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities (including deaf-blindness), acid attack and Parkinson’s disease.

First Published: Mar 10, 2019 07:35 IST