The Central Advisory Board on Disability, which is mandated to meet every six months under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, has not been re-constituted since the previous board’s three-year term ended in November 2020.
Central Advisory Board on Disability —
- Section 60 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 empowers the Central Government to constitute a body to be known as the Central Advisory Board on Disability to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to it, under this Act.
- In pursuance of this power, the Central Government had constituted the Central Advisory Board on Disability with Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment as the ex-officio chairperson.
- The panel is meant to “facilitate the continuous evolution of a comprehensive policy for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and the full enjoyment of rights”.
- The board is mandated to meet every six months under the Act.
- The board’s three-year term ended in November, 2020. Since then, it has not been re-constituted.
Salient Features of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 —
- The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 came into force in December 2016 to give effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
- The Right to Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act 2016) has categorised person with disability into three —
- Person with benchmark disability;
- Person with disability;
- People with disabilities having high support needs.
- In the RPWD Act 2016, there has been an increase in the type of disabled, which has been increased from 7 types to 21 types and the Central Government has the power to add more to the list.
- These 21 types of disabilities include — 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, Haemophilia, Sickle Cell disease, Multiple Disabilities including deaf blindness, Acid Attack victim, Parkinson’s disease.
- The RPWD Act 2016 has increased the quantum of reservation for people suffering from disabilities from 3% to 4% in government jobs and from 3% to 5% in higher education institutes.
- Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
- A separate National and State Fund be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.
Disabilities in India –
- According to an estimate by the World Health Organisation, globally, 15 percent of the population live with some form of disability, while over 80 percent of that share live in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
- In India, over 2.2 percent of the total population endures some form of severe mental or physical disability.
- Conceptually, since the condition of disability is rather transient than static, there is no one universal definition of what comprises a disability or who is considered disabled.
- In India, the list of criteria that categorises people as disabled was revamped in 2016 and came into effect with the Rights of People with Disabilities Act.