Neither court judgments nor ministerial orders have averted alleged discrimination against a differently-abled person by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The case in point is that of Dr. Satendra Singh, a polio survivor and assistant professor of physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences and the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital, Delhi.
Claiming to have faced discrimination twice, Dr. Singh said that in 2011 he had applied for the post of assistant professor (physiology) in the teaching specialist sub-cadre of the Central Health Service through the UPSC.
“My application was rejected on the grounds that a person with disability is not applicable for the job. After seeking intervention of the Union Health Ministry and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), I was allowed to appear for the interview,” he said.
“Recently, another recruitment call for the same post was advertised by the UPSC, in which it invited applications for 10 assistant professors in physiology. I tired registering online, specifying my disability, type and percentage. But a message flashed on the computer screen stating ‘Sorry you are not suitable for this post’. I was immediately reminded of my earlier attempt where I was discriminated against,” added Dr. Singh.
With November 15 the last date for submitting applications for the post, Dr. Singh says he is in a “fix yet again”.
“I feel that the discrimination is happening again because I am a person with disability (and this was the same reason that the UPSC had previously given to the CAT). The Commission is blatantly refusing to safeguard the legitimate rights of the disabled, despite the recent Supreme Court landmark judgment on filling posts for disabled applicants,” said Dr. Singh.
Dr. Singh said the UPSC had previously maintained that these posts are not suitable for differently-abled people. But he explained that all differently-abled medical students attend clinical postings, operation theatres, OPDs and emergency postings during their internships.
“It’s only after the successful completion of these that they are awarded a degree. Why discriminate against them while giving them a job?” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior Health Ministry official said he was not aware of any such discrimination and that all recruitments are done in a fair manner.
Dr. Satendra Singh says the UPSC denied him a job twice on the grounds that he was unsuitable