The Railways on Wednesday said it has met all the requirements under the rules in the recruitment process of persons with disabilities (PwDs) but is still trying to find ways to accommodate the disabled agitators who protested at Mandi House for jobs.
Traffic came to a standstill in the Central Delhi area because of the protesters who claimed to have applied for Group D jobs with the railways and were demanding jobs under the disability quota.
The Railways said it has scrutinised a list of 184 ‘divyangjan’ candidates across 10 railway zones submitted for consideration for jobs by the group and found that none has secured the qualifying marks of 28 per cent.
Manoj Pandey, the member of Staff Railway Board, said railway representatives had multiple meetings with the agitators to try and find out their grievances. One of the demands of the group was that unfilled vacancies across different disabilities be merged.
He said the ministry is considering some ‘divyangjan’ candidates who said that they have unwittingly applied only against one disability (mainly locomotor disability) even though they have more than one disability and therefore are eligible for consideration under the Multi Disability (MD) quota.
“Extant rules do not permit their merger. Rules, however, provide that if the nature of disabilities in an establishment is such that a person of specific category of disability cannot be employed in a year, the vacancies are to be carried forward to next year and only then interchanged among different disability categories if shortfall is still there,” Pandey said.
Under the rules, one per cent reservation against each of four disability categories has been provided as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016.
He also said that the entire recruitment process, including formation of panels, is almost over and that panels for 55,390 candidates in respect of 63,202 notified vacancies, including panels for around 1021 PwD candidates with 366 people with visual disability, 175 with hearing disability, 417 with locomotor disability and 13 with multiple disabilities have already been issued.
“Panels for remaining vacancies are expected to be issued by the end of this year. Formation of panels means that zone has already been allotted to such candidates and 44,948 candidates have joined also. In the circumstances, giving option for changing zone at this juncture is not possible,” the railways said.
The protesters also demanded a common merit list for all ‘divyangjan’ candidates across all railway zones, which the railway said was not feasible as they were zone-specific. Multi disability which was included in the latest disability act includes dwarfism, acid attack victims, thalassemia, mental illness among others.
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