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Guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with specified disabilities

Guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with specified disabilities

Background

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) has issued guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with benchmark disabilities (i.e. with 40% or more disability, for whom the benefit of reservation in Government posts are allowed) on 29.08.2018 and corrigendum dated 08.02.2019 which inter-alia, provides for grant of scribe and compensatory time.

Hon'ble Supreme Court in its order dated 11.02.2021 in the matter of Shri Vikash Kumar Vs UPSC and others has directed the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) to frame proper guidelines which would regulate and facilitate the grant of a facility of a scribe to persons with disability within the meaning of Section 2 (s) of the RPwD Act, 2016, where the nature of disability operates to impose a barrier to the candidate writing an examination. These guidelines should also prescribe appropriate norms to ensure that condition of the candidate is duly certified by such competent medical authority as may be prescribed so as to ensure that only genuine candidates in need of the facility are able to avail it.

Keeping in view the above order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, an Expert Committee was constituted to consider the issue and suggest guidelines accordingly. The Committee noted that there are various types of clinical problems that can affect the writing capacity. After careful consideration of the matter, the Committee recommended that sole criteria for grant of scribe and compensatory time should be based on assessment of the capability of a person to write.

The Committee accordingly recommended the following guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with specified disabilities covered under the definition of Section 2(s) of the RPwD Act,2016 but not covered under the definition of Section 2(r) of the said Act, i.e. persons having less than 40% disability and having difficulty in writing.

Guidelines

The facility of scribe and/or compensatory time shall be granted solely to those having difficulty in writing subject to production of a certificate to the effect that person concerned has limitation to write and that scribe is essential to write examination on his/her behalf from the competent medical authority of a Government healthcare institution as per proforma at Appendix-I.

The medical authority for the purpose of certification as mentioned in point above should be a multi-member authority comprising the following:-

  • Chief Medical officer/Civil Surgeon/Chief District Medical Officer.....Chairperson
  • Orthopaedic/PMR specialist
  • Neurologist, if available*
  • Clinical Psychologist/Rehabilitation Psychologist/ Psychiatrist/Special Educator
  • Occupational therapist, if available*
  • Any other expert based on the condition of the candidate as may be nominated by the Chairperson.

(* the Chief Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon/Chief District Medical Officer may make full efforts for inclusion of neurologists, occupational therapist from the nearest District or the Medical College/Institute, if the same is not available in the District)"

The candidate should have the discretion of opting for his own scribe or request the Examination Body for the same. The examination body may also identify the scribe to make panels at the District/Division/State level as per the requirements of the examination. In later instances the candidates should be allowed to meet the scribe two days before the examination so that the candidates get a chance to check and verify whether the scribe is suitable or not.

In case the examination body provides the scribe, it shall be ensured that qualification of the scribe should not be more than the minimum qualification criteria of the examination. However, the qualification of the scribe should always be matriculate or above. In case the candidate is allowed to bring his own scribe, the qualification of the scribe should be one step below the qualification of the candidate taking examination. The person opting for own scribe should submit details of the own scribe as per proforma at Appendix-II.

There should also be flexibility in accommodating any change in scribe in case of emergency. The candidates should also be allowed to take different scribe for writing different papers especially for languages. However, there can be only one scribe per subject.

The candidate should be allowed to use aids and assistive devices such as prosthetics & orthotics, hearing aid as mentioned related to the certificate issued by medical authority as per Appendix I.

Compensatory time not less than 20 minutes per hour of the examination should be allowed for persons who are eligible for getting scribe. In case the duration of the 3 examination is less than an hour, then the duration of the compensatory time should be allowed on pro-rata basis. Compensatory time should not be less than 5 minutes and should be in the multiple of 5.

The examination bodies shall modify their application forms to incorporate specific needs of this category of persons. In case, any incident has been reported after filling up the form, the examination bodies shall inform the candidates to obtain medical certificate as per these guidelines for facilitating grant of scribe and/or compensatory time.

As far as possible the examination for such persons may be held at ground floor. The examination centres should be accessible for persons with disabilities. (k) These guidelines are applicable to written examinations conducted by central recruitment agencies as well as academic institutions. The States/UTs may adopt these guidelines or issue similar guidelines to maintain uniformity.

These guidelines are independent of the Guidelines for conducting written examination for persons with benchmark disabilities issued by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities on 29.08.2018.

The examining bodies shall ensure strict vigilance to check misuse of facility of scribe.

Compliance by agencies

All the recruitment agencies, Academics/Examination Bodies etc. under the administrative control of each Ministry/Department may be advised appropriately to ensure compliance of implementing these guidelines.

Source : Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)

Last Modified : 9/22/2022



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