[AI] Sub: Stern Action Sought Against The UGC for violating the Office Memorandum Issued by the Government of India for Conducting Examination for Persons with Disabilities

avinash shahi shahi88avinash at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 11:39:04 PDT 2015

As a first procedural prerequisite, I've registered complaint against The UGC
Interested candidates could also do the same to build pressure,then we
will go to the High Court if need arises.

Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
Sarojini House, 6, Bhagwan Dass Road, New Delhi - 110 001

Sub: Stern Action Sought Against The UGC for violating the Office
Memorandum Issued by the Government of India for Conducting
Examination for Persons with Disabilities

Respected Hon’ble Court of The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
I am knocking at your door to apprise about the humiliation meted out
to the candidates with disabilities in the recently held UGC NET exam
on June 28 2015. The UGC imposed its arbitrary guidelines for the use
of scribe which is in complete violation and contrary to the Office
Memorandum issued by the government of India in February 2013.  As
aconsequence, scores of candidates with disabilities residing in the
different states of India have expressed anger and narrated their
ordeal on the social networking websites. Many were barred from
appearing in the examination for frivolous reasons and were treated
with contempt by the officials at the examination Centres. Some of the
bitter experiences shared by the candidates are reproduced below for
your kind perusal.

Block quote
Instead of verifying candidate-own scribe’s document on the date of
examination, The CBSE imposed extra burden and asked blind candidates’
to take permission one day prior to the exam. Now one could easily
apply one’s common sense to comprehend the discrimination. When the
all non-disabled aspirants were busy doing last-minute preparation,
blind candidates struggled from pillar to post in reaching the
different centres for availing permission to use writers. Most of them
who are very poor, were forced to incur extra money unnecessairily
Courtesy the CBSE.
(Avinash Shahi Delhi).
Block quote end

Block quote
My centre was at New Spot Public School in Vivek Vihaar. When I asked
about scribe’s fee ,they told me that why did you use scribe when we
provide braill question paper? I told them mam, yes you provide me
question paper in braill but you remember that you didn't provide me
answersheet in braill. She completely lost her point. Finally they
didn’t give my scribe’s his fee.
(Manish Jaiswal Delhi).
Block quote end
Block quote
A visually impaired girl has been out rightly denied permission to
take the exam at a center in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. Ms.Barani, who has
just passed out of her M.A in English from Pondicherry University,
informed me the folowing yesterday: Those at the exam center in
Coimbatore did not provide a scribe, and also denied entry to the
scribe she took with her. They told her that she should have obtained
permission for bringing her own scribe one week earlier. They also
told her that even otherwise she should have informed the exam center
one week earlier that she would not bring her own scribe and hence
they themselves should (kindly) arrange one. Ultimately she was turned
down even though she had brought a scribe with herself, and requested
them to arrange anyone of their own choice.
(Muruganandan Tamil Nadu).
Block quote end

The above personal narratives are just in no way could be construed as
representational. Blind candidates in Odisha, UP, Bihar, MP and in the
whole of north east who have no internet connectivity suffered the
ill-treatment at the examination Centres. Below is relevant sections
of the NET Notification for the Court’s perusal
Block quote
i) Twenty five minutes compensatory time shall be provided for Paper –
I and Paper – II separately. For paper – III, fifty minutes
compensatory time shall
be provided. These candidates, on their request, will also be provided
the services of a scribe who would be a graduate in a subject other
than that of
the candidate. CBSE will also provide the Test Booklets of Paper-I,
Paper–II & Paper–III in Braille in those subjects only which are
printed in English
or English and Hindi along with usual Test Booklets as provided to
other candidates.
ii) The Persons with Disability (Physically Challenged) candidates who
are not in a position to write in their own hand-writing can also
avail these services
of scribe by making prior request (at least one week before the date
of UGC-NET) in writing to the concerned Center Superintendent.
Compensatory time and
facility of scribe would not be provided to other Persons with
Disability (Physically Challenged) candidates.
iii) The candidate has the discretion of opting for his/her own scribe
or has to request the concerned Center Superintendent for the same in
writing at
least one week in advance of the test. In such instances the candidate
is allowed to meet the scribe a day before the examination so as to
verify whether
the scribe is suitable or not. Those candidates who opt for their own
scribe have to produce the scribe before the concerned Center
Superintendent along
with his/her certificates of educational qualifications at least one
day before the test. (See the full notification)
Block quote end

Above cited arbitrary provision imposed by UGC is contrary to the
Office Memorandum of GOI which states
Block quote
I.	Criteria like educational qualification, marks scored, age or other
such restrictions for the scribe/reader/lab assistant should not be
fixed.  Instead, the invigilation system should be strengthened, so
that the candidates using scribe/reader/lab assistant do not indulge
in mal-practices like copying and cheating during the examination.
Block quote end

Respected Hon’ble Court, the above mentioned harsh narratives faced by
disabled candidates are more than sufficient to reprimand UGC. And it
is imperative for the Hon’ble Court to protect the rights of the
disabled candidates  to equal opportunity and safety against
discrimination. Given the extent of mental trauma and raw treatment
meted out to the disabled candidates; Court should take stern action
against the UGC at the earliest. 1. The UGC should be directed to
reconduct NET examination for those candidates who were arbitrarily
denied to appear in the examination. 2. Hon’ble Court should ensure
that the aforementioned Office Memorandum issued by the Government of
India be enforced scrupulously in letter and spirit. I hope and trust
that the Court would construe this case as suo-motive and initiate
serious action as envisaged under Section 59 of the Persons with
Disabilities Act 1995 forthwith.

Complainant: Avinash Shahi
Ph.D Disability Policy Researcher at Centre for Law and Governance

Room no-223
Second Floor
Periyar Hostel
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi 110067
Mobile: 9717230779
E-mail: shahi88avinash at gmail.com

Avinash Shahi
Doctoral student at Centre for Law and Governance JNU

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