21 categories of even the severely-disabled can now become doctors
In a significant development, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has now opened up admissions to 21 categories of severely disabled people. Candidates suffering from blindness, hearing impairment, low-vision, dwarfism, locomotor disability, intellectual disability, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis will now be able to become doctors. This marks the end of a two-decade-long battle between the MCI and the differently abled.
India got a new disability law this year
India got its first disability law in 1995, which granted 3% reservation in education to people with seven particular types of disabilities. A new law replaced it this year, which raised their quota to 5% and increased the different categories of disabilities to 21.
SC slams MCI for not following new laws
The MCI has till now allowed only those with less than 70% disability in lower limbs, in medical courses. Last year, it admitted a partially-blind student but cancelled his admission one year later, leaving him helpless. Earlier in 2017, the SC too rapped the MCI over non-implementation of the new law's provisions. It's the duty of every institution to help the disabled, it noted.
Ministry of social justice now framing rules for disabled students
On October 31, MCI's general body met to discuss the matter. A committee recommended complete implementation of the act. It observed discrimination should be removed "for the sake of social justice", an official said. Now the ministry of social justice and empowerment "is in the process of framing rules to specify medical job roles for different categories of disability", said MCI secretary Reena Nayyar.