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Telangana Government Declares 5% Reservation in Higher Education for PWD

Telangana Government Declares 5% Reservation in Higher Education for PWD

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The Telangana government has issued an order to reserve 5% in all higher educational institutions, including government and aided, for persons with benchmark disabilities and a five-year upper-age relaxation for admissions. The directive, issued on June 25, 2024, is perceived, under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities RPwD Act, 2016, to ensure equal educational opportunity and inclusivity of persons with disabilities.

It is in line with Section 32 of the RPwD Act, mandating that at least 5% of all seats in higher educational institutions be reserved for persons with benchmark disabilities. In addition, such persons shall also be provided upper age relaxation by five years for admissions. Thus, having a focus on inclusive education recognizes societal barriers that do not allow persons with disabilities to reach their full potential. It is aimed at leveling the playground by making institutions of learning accessible and equipping them to cater to the various academic needs of people with disabilities. Campuses should, in this regard, be facilitated with ramps, lifts, and toilets that are assessable to disabled students.

This reservation policy tries to address in one go many of the problems that persons with disabilities in the country have been facing for several years now. These include lack of awareness about their rights and entitlements, financial constraints, and poor academic support from institutions of higher learning. The universities would have to extend fee concessions and other forms of financial assistance to mitigate the economic burden on poor families. Copies of the directive have been dispatched to various departments for immediate implementation.

The policy also meets international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India is a signatory and already in line with national legislation. This will help the government of Telangana in ensuring truly inclusive school environments, providing an opportunities’ platform for children with disabilities, and safeguarding their rights.

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