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Disability certificates to be issued online from June 1

File photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: K. Ananthan

The Centre this week notified June 1 as the date from which all disability certificates would be issued online, a requirement under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

The notification published on Wednesday made it mandatory for all States and Union Territories to issue the certificates to persons with disabilities (PwD) through the Department of Empowerment of PwD (DEPwD) portal. The unique disability ID (UDID) portal — swavlambancard.gov.in — was started in 2016 and States and UTs were given “adequate time to convert to online mode”, a DEPwD statement said on Thursday.

The DEPwD said the Central Advisory Board on Disability headed by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot discussed the matter on November 26, 2020 and decided to make online issuance of certificates mandatory from April 1, 2021.

“However, keeping in view the elections in some States/UTs during March-April, 2021, online certification has now been made mandatory from June 1,” it said, adding that the departments concerned in States had been asked to implement the notification immediately.

The online system would allow pan-India validity of certificates, it said.

Eyewash, say activists

However, PwD and activists have raised concerns about the planned digitisation. Dr. Satendra Singh, a doctor with GTB Hospital in Delhi and a disability rights activist, said the decision was an ‘eyewash’ as the onus was on the States and hospitals to upload the certificates on the portal, which has been a slow process.

“Everything falls on individual hospitals. For instance, the premier institutions like AIIMS and my own hospital, GTB, have not been issuing disability certificates for some time now. It hasn’t been taken seriously. Recently, a UPSC aspirant needed a certificate but she could not get it in time,” he said.

Dr. Singh said the Centre should direct the disability commissioners in States to order hospitals to comply.

According to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment’s report tabled in both Houses on March 16, 51.32 lakh UDIDs had been issued through the portal as on December 31, 2020. The DEPwD informed the committee that the number of UDIDs was against 1.65 crore disability certificates issued by States and UTs. The committee raised its concern that the number of certificates and subsequently the number of UDIDs issued were far fewer than the number of PwD, which as per the 2011 Census was 2.68 crore.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 1:18:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/disability-certificates-to-be-issued-online-from-june-1/article34498746.ece

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