Reforms and the Disabled

Article source: Reforms and the Disabled


Any assessment of the economic reforms of the past 25 years could well do with some understanding of their impact on people with disabilities in India. Indeed, in view of the negligible levels of participation of people with various impairments in economically productive activity, the influence of these sweeping policy changes would seem at best minimal. In the event, even the staunchest critic of liberalisation would have to acknowledge that the greatest legislative and policy changes since Independence that affect such a large section of our population have been initiated in the post-privatisation phase. A plausible explanation of this post-protectionist paradox may be found in the need for greater regulation under more market-oriented conditions.


Codifying Rights for the Disabled

Most curiously, the history of codification of the rights of people with disabilities coincides more or less with the commencement of the era of economic reforms. Even though legal guarantees enshrined under the Constitution were read into judicial and executive decisions during earlier decades, they were notably few and far between, informed largely by an ad hoc approach to addressing issues, or at times a spillover from an activist judiciary.

It was the landmark Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995, over four years after the reforms, which stipulated specific provisions concerning equal opportunities to basic education, employment, and accessibility. Every policy advance, or its absence, witnessed since that path-breaking legislation has turned on these three fundamental ingredients critical to a better quality of life. Since the passage of that comprehensive law, the lot of the disabled had moved, one might say, from a mode of thinking akin to the Directive Principles of State Policy discourse, to a more robust, Fundamental Rights approach to matters.

Any serious evaluation of what people with disabilities have gained in these past 25 years would probably have to begin with showcasing the political will India’s leadership displayed to generate the very tools to arrive at such an independent and impartial assessment. That was the bold decision the National Democratic Alliance government took to canvass disabilities in the 2001 decennial population census. The real import of the measure becomes apparent when we consider that the 1981 census was the lone exception to the otherwise routine exclusion of this category from the countrywide exercise since Independence.

As per the 2011 enumeration, India is home to 26.8 million people with disabilities, whereas other estimates put the figure at about thrice that number. Census 2011 also shows that 54.5 per cent of people with disabilities in India are literate — a 5.2 percentage point improvement over the previous decade.


Jobs and the Open Economy

Under liberalisation, employment opportunities have expanded into the private sector, almost unthinkable hitherto. Employers such as ITC, Lemon Tree Hotels, Mphasis, Wipro, and so many others have seen the economic wisdom behind playing on the strengths, rather than the impairments, of our manpower. Notable here are also the equality and diversity norms that the corporate sector is beginning to incorporate in its hiring practices. It would be hard to overlook the direct benefits flowing from the adoption of an open economy in these respects.

In the arena of state employment, the more industrious and enterprising among the disabled have, aided by the Supreme Court’s proactive interpretations of the equal opportunities provisions in the 1995 law, entered the corridors of the administrative services. There are athletes with disabilities who have brought laurels to the country. Access at polling booths seems to have become almost irreversible since the apex court’s landmark 2004 ruling stipulating easy access through ramps. The greater visibility for disability-related concerns in our media is also part of this broad picture of inclusion, howsoever restricted.

The Government of India has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and corresponding domestic legislation is in the making. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship initiatives such as the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan — designed to bridge physical barriers — are encouraging signs. Yet, they cannot conceal the impatience among disabled people with the glaring disparities that stare us in the face every day.

The census and other data discussed above in fact capture this dismal reality. Of the literate among the disabled, only 8.5 per cent boast a graduate degree, as per the 2011 census. A mere 21.1 per cent of Indian schools adhere to inclusive education for children with disabilities; just 1.32 per cent of teachers have been equipped with the relevant special skills training. This finding of a survey by the National Council of Educational Research and Training points to the challenges in relation to employability. As much as 73.9 per cent of disabled people in the employable age are either non-workers or marginal workers.

These are the numbers that should worry us, and prod us into action. Women with disabilities are most vulnerable to exploitation, as also people with psycho-social impairments and those hard of hearing. The revised National Building Code of India and the corresponding revision of State bylaws can potentially break many of these barriers provided elements of universal design are incorporated.

Javed Abidi is Honorary Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People and founder of the Disability Rights Group.


NTSE 2016- All You Need To Know About

The National talent Search Examination (NTSE) is a most prestigious talent cum scholarship examination conducted by National Council of Education Research and Training to recognize and nurture talented students across the country. The examination is conducted every year across the country in two stages: Stage-I (State Level) and Stage-II (National Level).

Important dates

Important Dates have been announced. Student must keep these dates in mind.

Stage 1 (State level):

• Last date for submitting Application form: be notified by the respective State and it may vary from state to state
• Examination in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Andaman and Nicobar islands: 7thNovember 2015.
• Examination in other states and Union territories: 8th November 2016.

Stage-II (National)

• Examination in All States and Union Territories: 8th May, 2016 (Sunday)
• Application Form for students study abroad will be uploaded on NCERT website in the month of October 2015

Exam pattern

The exam will be an objective type test in a paper-pencil based format. The part 1 of the test is Mental Ability test (MAT), which consist questions based on reasoning and logical. The second part is Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), consisting of 150 questions based on Language and Science, Mathematics and Social science.

Do’s and Don’ts

There are some do’s and don’ts mention below which will help you to prepare for the exam-


  1. Start preparation from 10th class Syllabus: Before starting your preparation, candidate must have to go through the NTSE syllabus. And then start preparation for the exam according to their 10th class syllabus.
  2. Determine strength and weakness: It is very important to know your strength and weakness. Candidate is suggested to solve previous year question paper time to time to know your strong areas and weak area’s on which you need to practice on.
  3. Refer NCERT Study material: NCERT books are best books to prepare for NTSE exams. Most of the students usually study from NCERT books in schools. NCERT books bring clarity of topics.
  4. Make Study plan: It is very important to make study plan and after then follow it wisely. Time management and study plan plays a very important role in preparation.
  5. Group Study: group Study is the best when it comes to preparation. Make a group of 5-10 friends and start regular studies and practice together. This will enable you to have fruitful practice sessions as each of your group members will contribute towards combined preparation.


  1. Don’t avoid practice and revision: Practice and revision is must for any kind of exam. If you leave revision, then you are just half prepared for the exam. With regular habit of revising and practicing of your subjects, you develop a speed and accuracy in solving NTSE questions.
  2. Don’t repeat mistakes: Mistakes are meant for learning, not for repeating. So avoid doing same mistakes every time. While practicing previous year question papers, whatever mistakes you did, make sure you’ll not repeat them in the main exam.
  3. Don’t forget to solve previous year question papers: Solving previous year question paper is very helpful. It will help to let you know your strength and weakness.
  4. Don’t lose sleep on the night before exam: it is necessary to take sound sleep before a night prior to the exam. So that on the day of exam, you’ll feel fresh.
  5. Don’t lose focus and clam. It is very important to stay focused and clam while you were writing exam. Give your best.

Important tips and tricks:

  • Go through the NTSE syllabus thoroughly and start preparation accordingly without wasting your time.
  • Evaluate your strength and weakness.
  • Study from NCERT books.
  • Make proper study plan and time management.
  • Prefer to study in group.
  • Practice from previous year question papers and revision is must
  • Take good sleep prior to the exam day.
  • Stay calm and concentrated.
  • Don’t make yourself over confident.

BITSAT 2015 was tough : Students

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Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test BITSAT 2015 began on May 14 to be conducted in a 16-day window till May 29 for admission to Engineering courses at BITS campuses in Pilani, Hyderabad and Goa. The 3 hour objective-type online test is divided in 4 parts and consists of 150 questions of 1 mark each, taking the total marks to 150. Each correct answer carried 3 marks but 1 mark was deducted on each wrong attempt.

According to the students who have appeared and experts, the overall online exam was of moderate level with no technical glitches. However, students who appeared on the first day of the BITSAT 2015 marked Mathematics as the toughest section. Whereas, Physics and English Proficiency & Logical Reasoning were marked moderate and Chemistry was the easiest one. Students found the mathematics section the most difficult because of lengthy and tricky questions. Usually the questions are formed from a set database in the exam, but many students found it tougher than last year exams. Mere NCERT was not enough as students faced higher lever questions based on rotational motion, inertia and limits and derivatives and their application.

Around 2,000 BE (Hons) seats will be filled through the online entrance tests and for which around 1.8 lakh students are appearing in 48 cities across India. The eligible candidates will be selected on the basis of their performance in the written examination and no further rounds of group discussions or personal interview will be conducted. Students will be given their score cards as soon as their exam gets over.

NCERT to Issue a Series on Martyrs

Concerned that existing textbooks do not celebrate heroes, the NCERT decided to publish a series called ‘Veergatha’. The relevant decision was adopted at the 52nd session of the General meeting of the NCERT on Tuesday.

At the meeting, chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, was attended by state Ministers of education in addition to eminent academicians.

Irani said the NCERT should compile a book in consultation with the Ministry of defence about the individuals who gave their lives for the cause of the people.

Special attention will be paid to women for success and freedom fighters in the book. Irani also urged members and all interested parties to give their suggestions on a new policy in the field of education and asked the NCERT extensive consultations and discussions on the NEP and training programs with States on street level. This exercise will be completed by August and the report will be submitted by September 2015.

Top JEE Main and Advanced Study Materials

Top study books for jee mains & advanced


Joint Entrance Exam or JEE is an all India common entrance exam conducted by CBSE to get admissions in India’s top notch engineering colleges. Before 2012, the same examination was conducted as AIEEE but since 2012, the same exam has been changed to JEE Mains and Advanced. JEE Mains succeeds JEE advanced and only upon clearing JEE mains can a student apply for JEE Advanced. While JEE Mains top candidates make it to the JEE advanced, the others who are left with JEE mains score are also eligible to apply for various engineering colleges like IIFT, CFTI, NIT, etc. Though getting into IIT and ISM is possible only through cracking Mains and Advanced both.

The pattern of Joint Entrance Exam has gone through several changes before settling with JEE ‘Mains’ & ‘Advanced’. More than 13 lakh students had appeared for JEE in 2014. The syllabus spanning JEE Mains and Advanced majorly comes from 11th & 12th standard. NCERT, thus, must be considered as the soul of preparation.

Though there are many preparation books available in the market as well as online for both JEE Mains & Advanced, but, NCERT is something which is inevitably the most significant amongst everything that comes as JEE preparation material.

Disha Publication provides study material for each subject which comes in JEE Mains and Advanced. JEE Previous years solved papers combined with elaborate explanation of each concept are provided so the engineering exam aspirants can get the best IIT Jee preparation study material to give an edge to their preparation.

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