Friday, 18 October 2013

Romania has a lot to teach us!

The Indian Government, courts, etc., have mastered the art of appearing to do good things, but in fact doing nothing. For instance:


The apex court directed the authorities to compile the number of vacancies in all their departments to give jobs to disabled persons under three per cent reserved quota within three months.

The bench said it is an "alarming reality" that disabled persons are not getting jobs because of various social barriers forcing them to live life in poverty and negligence.

It said the goverment has "categorical obligation" to protect the right of disabled persons and passed a slew of directions for providing jobs to the differently-abled.


On the other hand, something called the RPD (Reservation to the Persons with Disabilities) act says:

*32. Identification of posts which can be reserved for persons with
disabilities. -* Appropriate Governments shall -

   1. identify posts, in the establishments, which can be reserved for the
   persons with disability;
   2. at periodical intervals not exceeding three years, review the list of
   posts identified and up-date the list taking into consideration the
   developments in technology.

*33. Reservation of Posts - *Every appropriate Government shall appoint in
every establishment such percentage of vacancies not less than three per
cent. for persons or class of persons with disability of which one per
cent. each shall be reserved for persons suffering from-

   1. blindness or low vision;
   2. hearing impairment;
   3. locomotor disability or cerebral palsy, in the posts identified for
   each disability:

   Provided that the appropriate Government may, having regard to the type
   of work carried on in any department or establishment, by notification
   subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in such
   notification, exempt any establishment from the provisions of this section.


And the courts have been arguing ever since as to whether the 3% reservation refers to the existing body of all available vacancies for posts or only to those posts that the Government, in its wisdom, has identified as suitable posts for people with precisely the three kinds of disabilities which they have identified - by what wisdom, one wonders - as being worthy beneficiaries of their reservation policies. (The reason, for instance, that underlies the clubbing into one, of the two kinds of disability in class 3, is beyond my feeble intellect!)  Thus, if there are 1000 vacancies, of which only 200 posts have been identified as posts that can be filled with PwD, the argument is whether, for instance, a person with hearing impairment can hope to get one of the 10 or the 2 jobs reserved for her kind of disability!


Romania, in contrast, and inspite of being much poorer than India, has two impressive arrows in her quiver, one of which has taught me a lot, and the other should teach our administrators a lot:

  1. She has produced an incredibly large number of people doing state-of-the-art work in Operator Algebras (my area of specialisation in mathematics).
  2. (According to a cousin of mine who has been working for some years in Romania) she follows the rule that "employers must employ one disabled person for every 22 employees or must pay to the dedicated fund the mean salary of one employee for every 22 employed. Also public transport is disabled friendly".

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