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Rights of persons with disabilities (PWD) UPSC NOTE


  • Political manifestos rarely discuss disability rights, but recent promises by Congress and CPI(M) spark optimism.

  • Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, etc., but not disability.

Demand for Amendment:

  • The disability rights movement has long demanded amending Article 15 to include disability as a ground for discrimination.

  • The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities supports this amendment.

  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (2016) offers some protection, but it's a statutory right, not a constitutional one.

Arguments for Amending Article 15:

  • A constitutional right against disability discrimination would be stronger and more difficult to violate.

  • Including disability in Article 15 would be a step towards equal rights and ending historical injustice.

  • There is a precedent for adding grounds to Article 15 (Supreme Court ruling on sexual orientation in 2018).

Why Amending the Act Isn't Enough:

  • Amending the Act wouldn't elevate the right to the level of a constitutional right.

  • The Act's clause on "legitimate aim" leaves room for discriminatory actions.

Shortcomings of Analogous Grounds Approach:

  • Treating disability as an analogous ground (similar to existing grounds) requires litigation.

  • This approach ignores the specific challenges faced by people with disabilities.

  • The government, not the judiciary, should take responsibility for addressing this gap.

Hope for Progress:

  • Recent political promises and advocacy efforts by disability rights groups raise hope for change.

  • This might indicate a shift in public discourse on disability rights.

  • It argues that amending the Constitution is necessary to ensure stronger legal protection against disability discrimination in India.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Rights of persons with disabilities (PWD) UPSC NOTE
Rights of persons with disabilities (PWD) UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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