Himachal Pradesh government has given a big relief to visually impaired and other candidates who can’t write in their examination papers due to disability. Now, they can engage a scribe with higher qualification if the examination conducting agency fails to provide one.
Ajai Srivastava, expert member of HP State Advisory Board on disability and chairperson of Umang Foundation had raised this issue with the chief minister Jai Ram Thakur. He had urged him to ensure the compliance with a judgment of Delhi High Court and the directions of central ministry of social justice and empowerment, besides the UGC.
He said that the department of social justice and empowerment had notified the old set of guidelines issued by the central government for the conduct of examinations for the visually impaired and other candidates who cannot write due to disability.
In these guidelines it was made mandatory for the eligible examinees to bring a scribe “one step junior” in qualification. But the Delhi High Court had directed the union ministry for social justice and empowerment, and UGC that if the examination conducting agency fails to provide the scribe, the candidates may bring their own scribe and no criteria of educational qualification of such scribes shall be fixed.
This direction was to be complied with across the country through union ministry of social justice and empowerment, UGC and other ministries in all academic and competitive examinations, including for jobs.
The state government had issued the guidelines by ignoring the directions of the court and central government. When this matter was raised before the chief minister by Umang Foundation, the additional chief secretary (SJ&E) Sanjay Gupta immediately issued the new guidelines as per the directions of the central government.