Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
4) The government’s revised guidelines for conducting exams for persons with disabilities are unfair and regressive. Comment. (250 words)
Why this question
The government has recently revised the 2013 guidelines for conducting exams for persons with disabilities. The decision has been criticized for being retrogatory and discriminatory and thus it is important to discuss its shortcomings.
Comment- here we have to express our knowledge and understanding of the issue and form an overall opinion thereupon.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to form an opinion in support of or against the statement. However our opinion has to be based on a proper discussion and valid arguments in support of our opinion.
Structure of the answer
Introduction- write a few introductory lines about the recently revised guidelines for conducting exams in case of persons with disabilities. E.g The recently released ‘revised guidelines’ by the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for conducting written examinations for persons with disabilities significantly whittle down the 2013 guidelines that played a transformative role in empowering such students.
Discuss why the revised guidelines are unfair and regressive. E.g It is believed that the UPSC’s discomfort with the 2013 guidelines flowed from their misuse by some students who coached their scribes before the exam. If an able-bodied student engages in cheating, the normal consequence is his disqualification. However, what the UPSC did was to demand that the guidelines be changed; in case the disabled candidate is allowed to bring his own scribe, the qualification of the scribe should be ‘one step below’ the qualification of the candidate. Whether the phrase ‘one step below’ here refers to one year below in the same degree or one degree below is unclear. The revised guidelines also do not deal with a situation in which a disabled candidate and the scribe are from different streams. The 2013 guidelines had stated that vague criteria like educational qualification should not be fixed; for certain classes of candidates with benchmark disabilities, the revised guidelines have imposed a requirement that a certificate be furnished from a designated official, indicating that the candidate has a physical limitation and needs a scribe. This essentially renders the impact of a disability certificate wholly nugatory; the new guidelines have transformed claims that were hitherto recognised as ‘legal entitlements’ to ‘liberties’ whose exercise is contingent upon the goodness of the exam-conducting bodies etc.
conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.