The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said it has agreed to amend the regulation for admission to PG medical courses increasing the percentage of seats reserved for disabled persons from three to five percent.
"The percentage of seats has been increased in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016," the Ministry said in a statement.
It granted approval to amend the regulation "in order to expand the scope of persons with disabilities getting the benefit of reservation".
Commenting on the decision, Health Minister J.P. Nadda said after 20 years the government has taken a historical decision for the welfare of the disabled in line with the Prime Minister's vision of 'sabka saath, sabka vikaas', ensuring that they are equal contributors to the progress of the nation.
"Now all 21 benchmark disabilities as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 can register for admission to medical courses," he said.
As per the amended provision, 21 kinds of disabilities including blindness, low-vision, leprosy cured persons, hearing impairment (deaf and hard of hearing), locomotor disability, dwarfism, intellectual disability, mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy will now be considered under the reservation.
Other disabilities that also get covered are chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and language disability, Thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities (including deafblindness), acid attack victim and Parkinson's patients, said the official statement.
Accordingly, the software used by Directorate General of Health Services for central counseling has also been amended to allow registration of all such candidates, said the Ministry.
Registration or allotment of seats would be followed by a medical examination to ascertain the level of disability before finally granting admission to candidates selected under the reserved quota, it added.
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