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GoI Implements RPwD Act 2016; Established Accessibility Standards for Divyangjan

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Government Implements RPwD Act 2016The Government of India (GoI) has formulated rules under the provision of section 40 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 to establish the standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities (Divyangjan or PwDs).

  • The rules establish the standard of accessibility for the physical environment, transportation, information and communication, including appropriate technologies and systems and other facilities and services provided to the public in urban and rural areas.

Note: The RPwD Act, 2016 was enacted on 28th December 2016 and came into force on 19th April 2017.

Key Points:

i.Under this provision of section 40 of the RPwD Act 2016, 20 ministries are involved in making Accessibility guidelines/standards for their respective sector.

ii.The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(DEPwD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(MoSJE), will regularly monitor the formulations of these guidelines or standards.

  • Regular review meetings are undertaken at various levels. A recent review of the progress was conducted by the MoSJE.

Status of guidelines :-

i.Standards/guidelines notified in RPwD Rules under Rule 15:

  • Accessibility for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products and services.
  • Harmonised Guidelines and Space Standard for Barrier-Free Built Environment 2016.
  • Standard for Bus Body Code for Transportation system.

ii.Guidelines under Draft notification in RPwD Rules and inviting public and other stakeholder comments

  • Harmonised Guidelines and Space Standards for universal accessibility in India 2021 by 31st March 2023.
  • Accessibility Standards and Guidelines for Civil Aviation by 10th June 2023.
  • Accessibility standards and guidelines for the Culture sector (monuments/sites/museums/libraries by 10th June 2023.
  • Accessible Sport complex and residential facilities for sports person with disabilities by 10th June 2023

iii.Guidelines notified in the Gazette of India by concerned Ministries/Departments

  • Accessibility standards for healthcare.

iv.Guidelines awaited for notification in the Gazette of India by the concerned Ministry/Department

  • Guidelines on the accessibility of Indian Railways stations and facilities at stations for differently-abled persons and passengers with reduced mobility
  • Accessibility Guidelines and Standards for Higher Education Institutions and Universities
  • Accessibility Guidelines for Bus Terminals and Bus Stops
  • Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Points to be noted on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016:-

  • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
  • 5% reservation in seats in Government and Government aided higher educational institutions for persons with benchmark disabilities.
  • 4% reservation in Government jobs for certain persons or class of persons with benchmark disability.

Recent Related News:

On 28 September 2022, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Sector Skill Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPwD) and Amazon Internet Private Limited signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide skill training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, Delhi.

About the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(MoSJE):
Union Minister– Virendra Kumar(Constituency- Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– A. Narayanaswamy; Pratima Bhoumik & Ramdas Athawale