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India
05 Jan 2017

Railways refuses job to visually-impaired woman who cracked UPSC

Pranjal Patil, a visually-impaired woman from Maharashtra's Ulhasnagar, cracked the UPSC examination with an all-India rank of 773 in her first attempt in May 2016.

She was informed that she would get a job in the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS).

However, getting a government job proved difficult for her; the Railways now claims someone with visual impairment is not eligible for the job.

In context

The plight of differently-abled people in India

2016

Visually-impaired woman cracks UPSC in maiden attempt

Pranjal Patil, a 26-year-old visually-impaired resident of Maharashtra's Ulhasnagar, secured an All-India ranking of 773 in the Union Public Service Commission exams in May'16.

She was born with weak eyesight and completely lost her vision at age six.

She waited until December to fulfill her long-cherished dream of becoming an IAS officer but received no communication from the Department of Personnel and Training.

Pranjal Patil's statement

Pranjal Patil stated, "Around June-July (2016), I got a letter from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that I have been allotted a job in the IRAS, and that the training would begin in December 2016." The DoPT didn't further contact her.

05 Jan 2017

Railways refuses job to visually-impaired woman who cracked UPSC

Pranjal Patil, a visually-impaired woman from Maharashtra's Ulhasnagar, cracked the UPSC examination with an all-India rank of 773 in her first attempt in May 2016.

She was informed that she would get a job in the Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS).

However, getting a government job proved difficult for her; the Railways now claims someone with visual impairment is not eligible for the job.

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Cannot accept Patil's candidature, says Railways

The Railways informed the DoPT they couldn't accept Patil's candidature in a letter dated 8 Nov'16. Patil said, "When I contacted them in the first week of December regarding the training, they verbally told me they cannot appoint a person with 100% blindness."

The Railways

DoPT aware candidates with 100% blindness can't get IRAS job

The Railways blamed the DoPT for the confusion and claimed Patil was never eligible for a job in the IRAS.

A Railways-officer said DoPT is aware that candidates with 100% blindness can't get a job in the IRAS.

He added Patil's file should never have come to the Railways; her dossier has been returned to the DoPT, which didn't communicate the same to Patil.

Railways' letter to the DoPT

The letter states: "Only partially blind (PB) candidates under visually impaired (VI) category are recruited to IRAS. Therefore, it is not feasible to accept the candidature of Patil Pranjal Lahensingh for IRAS. The dossier is returned for further action as per your end."

The System

Railways has no role in the matter: An official

A Railways official stressed the Railways has no role in the matter and the DoPT should allot an alternative to Pranjal Patil.

Neither the Railways nor DoPT informed her of the developments.

She said India has a progressive system only on paper and not in reality.

She added, India has job reservations for the differently-abled but the situation is quite different while implementing them.

Technology

India's so-called digital revolution

Pranjal Patil questioned India's faith in the so-called "digital revolution".

She said she cracked USPC with the help of technology and was sure with adequate training, she would handle the IRAS job.

She has contacted higher officials and is awaiting their response before taking a legal step.

She also wrote to the Prime Minister's Office and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu but received no response.

Patil wants to get two things done

Pranjal Patil asserted, "I want the railways to relax this rule of not employing those with 100% blindness. And secondly, if they allot me any service, it should be as per my rank and merit and not as per their convenience."

13 Jan 2017

Railways Job still not given to visually-impaired woman

Despite Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's assurance of allotting a post to visually impaired UPSC candidate Pranjal Patil, the Department of Personnel and Training is yet to allot her a post.

Instead of the promised post in the Railways Accounts Service she was given a post in the Post and Telecommunications Department.

Patil said, "the Railways is seeking legal opinion on my original allotment."

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