[AI] Policy for Examination

Pamnani kanchanpamnani at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 14 03:26:12 EST 2008

Dear Friends, 

In keeping with my habit of sharing everything with accessindia I am copying below a letter received from CCPD. I suggest that everyone who is interested in this matter should read and keep these 3 emails and send me your comments only after you receive my final draft policy. Kanchan    

Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India

Case No.3929/2007                                                                Dated: 31st January, 2008

Dispatch No.: 427

Shri Gopal Sisodia 


State Bank of India & anrs.





You may be aware that Section 30 of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 casts responsibility on appropriate government and local authority to make all necessary facilities available to persons with disabilities in the matter of education. These include providing of scribe and aids & appliances to visually and physically challenged persons. However, different authorities have adopted different approach in providing such facilities which is leading to a lot of inconvenience to the persons with disabilities and placing them at disadvantageous position in crucial examination.


  2.. A meeting to discuss the existing difficulties and arriving at final recommendation for a policy on written examination for visually impaired and other PH candidate is scheduled on 19th February, 2008 at 11.00 O’clock at the Instituted of Physically Handicapped, Conference Hall, of Pt. Deen Upadhayaya, I.P.H., Vishnu Digamber Marg, New Delhi – 110002. It is requested to kindly make it convenient to attend the meeting/deputy a representative for attending the meeting.

  3.. A short note on the current provision, existing difficulties and points for discussion is enclosed. A draft of the policy will be circulated shortly. 

  4.. The organizations are requested to bear TA/DA for their participants.

Yours faithfully,


(Sunita Singh)

Dy. Chief Commissioner

Encls: as above



  1.. The Chairman, Railway Board, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi.
  2.. The Secretary, Banking Division, Ministry of Finance, New Delhi.
  3.. The Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, Govt. of India, North Block New Delhi -110001.
  4.. The Chairperson, National Trust, 9th Floor, Jeevan Prakash building, K. G. Marg, New Delhi -110 001.
  5.. The Secretary, University Grants Commission, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
  6.. The Secretary, Union Public Service Commission, Dholpur House, Shahjahan Road, New Delhi.
  7.. Mr. Bhaskar Yogendra Mehta, Commissioner, Disabilities, Office of the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Government of Gujarat, Block No.16, Ground Floor, Dr. Jivaraj Maheta Bhavan, Gandhinagar - 382010.
  8.. The Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education, I. P. Estate, New Delhi 110002.
  9.. The Director General, Directorate General of Employment & Training, Sharm Shakti Bhawn, Rafi Marg, New Delhi -110001.
  10.. The Chairman, Public Enterprises Selection Board, Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
  11.. The Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
  12.. The Chairman, Central Board of Secondary Education, 2, Community Centre, Preet Vihar, Delhi-110092.
  13.. The Joint Secretary, Department of Secondary & Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi -1.
  14.. The Director, National Institute for Visually Handicapped, 116 Rajpur Road, Uttaranchal.
  15.. The Director, DD-III, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, New Delhi.
  16.. The Director, IPH, 4, Vishnu Digamber Marg, New Delhi -110002.
  17.. National Association for the Blind, Department of Employment, 2nd floor, 11/12, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Road, Worli Seaface, Mumbai 400025.
  18.. Shri Gopal Sisodia, General Secretary, Indian Association of the Blind, 154/C, Delhi Administration Flats, Sindhoran Kalan, Delhi-110052. 
  19.. Shri. S. K. Rungta, 164, Lawyers Chambers, Delhi High Court, Delhi.
  20.. Ms. Kanchan Pamnani, 24 Blue Haven, Mount Peasant Road, Mumbai 400006.


Points for discussion/decision in the meeting dated 19th February, 2008 at 11.00 O'clock


     Existing Provisions
     Suggested modifications/points for decision
     No clear directions as to the categories & sub categories of persons with disabilities who can avail benefits of scribe

     Some agencies are allowing scribe to low vision persons while other expect them to use magnifying glasses for writing answers and are not providing papers in larger font size. Similarly OH persons with amputation, persons with cerebral palsy and others having problems in upper extremities in past have been allowed scribe
     a.. Clear instructions in terms of percentage with disability that will be allowed scribe in VH
        b.. Whether OH & Dyslexic persons can get benefit of scribe
        c.. Whether provisions for scribe would be different for competitive exam and regular school/college exams.
     Qualifying marks for scribe - Most of the authorities have taken up the stand that the scribe should be one grade lower in academic qualification than the candidate with qualifying marks ranging from 40% to 60%.
     Fixing cut of marks for scribe is felt unfair, especially in current system where the students score very high marks in their secondary and senior secondary school examination. Hence the. students with 40% or 50% marks are bound to be weak student academically & may not be able to comprehend esp. tables & graphs in test of reasoning, mathematical & scientific symbols and read properly, leading to the wastage of valuable time.
     a.. Scribe from higher grade allowed for primary school examination
        b.. Scribe should preferably be one grade lower from the same stream. However this restriction will not apply if Scribe is from other stream.
        c.. Whether student in first! second year of graduation will qualify as one grade lower for final year graduate examination
        d.. No criteria of minimum qualifying marks should be imposed as examining authorities arrange one invigilator for each of the student using scribe so that the candidate is not in a 
     Restriction as to when scribe should have passed the exam- like DSSB conducted exams for grade IV on 9-16th September, 2007 and stipulated that the scribe should be VIII class and should have obtained the past certificate not prior to 2006. Thereby, meaning that the scribe should be studying in IX class at the time of writing the competitive examination.

     a.. No Restriction as to when scribe should have passed the qualifying exam-
     Some agencies like UPSC, DSSB allow the disabled candidates to bring their own scribe while some like SSC insist on providing scribe.
     Such a stipulation makes it difficult of finding an appropriate scribe because the parents of students studying in class IX generally don't allow them to write the exams on behalf of others. Further, the particular competitive examination was held in the month of September, when most of the schools were having half yearly examinations. Hence large number of blind candidates could not appear as they could not find suitable scribe.
     a.. Both options i.e. getting their own scribe/ Provision of by recruiting agency should be available to candidates for each of the examination.
        b.. There should be a panel of identified scribes at Regional/District/State level that is identified by the examining body as per the requirements of the examination.
     Last moment change of scribe not allowed.
     Though the persons with disabilities would prefer to have the option of getting their own scribe, but at the same time the option for getting a scribe by the examining authority should be available especially for students who are staying in a hostel and parents with illiterates.
     In case of exigencies chief invigilator or any other appropriate authority at the site of exam should have discretionary powers for allowing such a change of scribe.

     Use of Personnel Computers for writing exam and getting of examination papers in electronic format- CBSE and some Universities like Anna Malai have allowed use of personnel computers with screen reading software to persons with disabilities and find no problem in permitting the same.
     The matter for allowing Personnel computers or providing computers through recruiting agencies has been taken up with the UPSC, SSC and Banking division and other such authorities. However, no positive response has been received on the grounds that as per the existing rules, law no such provisions for allowing computers in taking the examination.

     Information and communication technology has opened up vast opportunities for persons with disabilities. Continuous reduction in the prices is also making the technology accessible to many.

        a.. The recruiting agencies should set up computer centers that have screen reading software and suitable hardware.
        b.. Till the time such centers are developed they could allow the personnel computers to the persons with disabilities
        c.. Use of scribe may gradually be eliminated.
     No special provisions for VI for giving open Book exam 
     Most Departmental examination have one or two papers are with open books. For Visually impaired persons apart from providing scribe, no additional facilities like book in Braille for electronic format is provided. In case he does not have very strong memory he is bound to perform very poorly in such examinations (esp. group D & C employees).
     a.. the establishment should provide reading material either in Braille or in e-text (on computers having suitable screen reading software) for open book examination



Kanchan Pamnani
Advocate & Solicitor
9, Suleman Chambers,
Battery Street, Colaba,
Mumbai - 400 039.

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