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31 Aug, 2012

India Sets Up New Department of Disability Affairs


Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, 30-August, 2012 – A new Department of Disability Affairs has been set up as per the  Cabinet Secretariat’s notification dated 12.05.2012 to ensure greater focus on policy matters regarding disability issues. Having a separate budget will help strengthen existing schemes, formulation of new schemes, promotion of technological innovation and greater coordination among stakeholders, organizations, state governments and related central ministries.

A total budget of Rs.548.10 crore has been provided for the schemes related to disability for the financial year 2012-13. This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri D. Napoleon in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. According to Census 2001, there were 2.19 Crore persons with disabilities in the country which constitutes 2.13 percent of the total population.

The new Department has been allocated twenty five subjects (as follows:)

1. Indo-US, indo-UK, Indo-German, Indo-Swiss and Indo-Swedish Agreements for Duty-free import of donated relief goods/supplies and matters connected with the distribution of such supplies.

2. Social Security and Social Insurance, save to the extent allotted to any other Department

3. For the Union Territories, till the following subjects which fall in List II- State List or List III – Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, in so far as they exist in regard to such territories. Relief of the Disabled and the unemployable; Social Security and Social Insurance, save to the extent allotted to any other Department.

4. To act as the nodal Department for matters pertaining to Disability and Persons with Disabilities. The Department of Disability Affairs shall be the nodal Department for the overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for Persons with Disabilities. However, overall management and monitoring etc. of the sectoral programmes in respect of this group shall be the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Each Central Ministry or Department shall discharge nodal responsibility concerning its sector.

5. Special schemes aimed at rehabilitation and social educational and economic empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, e.g. supply of aids and appliances, scholarships, residential schools, skill training, concessional loans and subsidy for self-employment etc.

6. Education and Training of Rehabilitation Professionals

7. International Conventions and Agreements on matters dealt with in the Department. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

8. Awareness generation, research, evaluation and training in regard to subjects allocated to the Department.

9. Charitable and Religious Endowments, and promotion and development of Voluntary Effort pertaining to subjects allocated to the Department.

10. The Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 (34 of 192)

11. The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation ) Act, 1995 (1 of 1996)

12. The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 (44 of 1999)

13. The Rehabilitation Council of India.

14. The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

15. The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities.

16. The National Handicapped and Finance Development Corporation.

17. Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation, Kanpur.

18. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Institute for Physically Handicapped, New Delhi.

19. National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, Kolkata.

20. National Institute of Visually Handicapped, Dehradun.

21. National Institute of Mentally Handicapped, Secundrabad.

22. Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai.

23. National Institute of Rehabilitation, Training and Research, Cuttack.

24. National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, Chennai.

25. The Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre, New Delhi.