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Lok Sabha passes "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016
Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept in this bill
Types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21 in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

The Lok Sabha today passed "The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016". The Bill will replace the existing PwD Act, 1995, which was enacted 21 years back. The Rajya Sabha has already passed the Bill on 14.12.2016.

The salient features of the Bill are:

  1. Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  2. The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities. The 21 disabilities are given below:-
  3. Blindness
  4. Low-vision
  5. Leprosy Cured persons
  6. Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
  7. Locomotor Disability
  8. Dwarfism
  9. Intellectual Disability
  10. Mental Illness
  11. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  12. Cerebral Palsy
  13. Muscular Dystrophy
  14. Chronic Neurological conditions
  15. Specific Learning Disabilities
  16. Multiple Sclerosis
  17. Speech and Language disability
  18. Thalassemia
  19. Hemophilia
  20. Sickle Cell disease
  21. Multiple Disabilities including deafblindness
  22. Acid Attack victim
  23. Parkinson's disease

iii. Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time. Acid Attack Victims have been included. Dwarfism, muscular dystrophy have has been indicated as separate class of specified disability. The New categories of disabilities also included three blood disorders, Thalassemia, Hemophilia and Sickle Cell disease.

iv. In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.

v. Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.

vi. Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.

vii. Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.

viii. Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.

  1. For strengthening the Prime Minister's Accessible India Campaign, stress has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings (both Government and private) in a prescribed time-frame.
  2. Reservation in vacancies in government establishments has been increased from 3% to 4% for certain persons or class of persons with benchmark disability.
  3. The Bill provides for grant of guardianship by District Court under which there will be joint decision – making between the guardian and the persons with disabilities.

      xii. Broad based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy making bodies at the Central and State level.

    xiii. Office of Chief Commissioner of Persons with Disabilities has been strengthened who will now be assisted by 2 Commissioners and an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 11 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.

     xiv. Similarly, the office of State Commissioners of Disabilities has been strengthened who will be assisted by an Advisory Committee comprising of not more than 5 members drawn from experts in various disabilities.

  1. The Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities and the State Commissioners will act as regulatory bodies and Grievance Redressal agencies and also monitor implementation of the Act.

     xvi. District level committees will be constituted by the State Governments to address local concerns of PwDs. Details of their constitution and the functions of such committees would be prescribed by the State Governments in the rules.

     xvii.  Creation of National and State Fund will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities. The existing National Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the Trust Fund for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will be subsumed with the National Fund.

   xviii.  The Bill provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.

       xix. Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

  1. The New Act will bring our law in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory. This will fulfill the obligations on the part of India in terms of UNCRD. Further, the new law will not only enhance the Rights and Entitlements of Divyangjan but also provide effective mechanism for ensuring their empowerment and true inclusion into the Society in a satisfactory manner.
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PM to inaugurate India's longest bridge in Assam
May 25, 2017
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Road connectivity in the North-East will see a major transformation: PM to inaugurate India’s longest bridge
Dhola-Sadia Bridge to provide efficient road connectivity to remote and backward areas which have poor road infrastructure
Dhola-Sadia Bridge to give a major boost to overall economic development in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh

Road connectivity in the North-East will see a major transformation when Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurates the country’s longest river bridge –the Dhola- Sadiya Bridge in Assam tomorrow. This new, three lane, 9.15 kilometre bridge has been built over river Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, linking Dhola in Assam to Sadiya in Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge will fill a huge connectivity gap that has existed in the region. Till now, the only means to cross the Brahmaputra at this location has been by ferry only in day-time and even this is not possible during floods. The last bridge over the Brahmaputra was the Kalia Bhomora Bridge at Tejpur. This will however change from tomorrow with the Dhola-Sadiya bridge ensuring 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh.

The bridge will also reduce the distance from Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 KM. The travel time between the two places will come down from the current six hours to just one hour – a total five hour reduction. This will result in saving of petrol and diesel worth Rs 10 Lakh per day.

The Dhola-Sadiya bridge promises to usher in prosperity in the North-East. It will provide efficient road connectivity to remote and backward areas which have poor road infrastructure. This bridge will also give a major boost to overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It will also cater to the strategic requirements of the country in the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh, besides facilitating numerous hydro power projects coming up in the state , as it is the most sought after route for various power project developers.

The total length of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km. The length of the bridge itself is 9.15 Km. It has been constructed on BOT Annuity basis at a total cost of Rs 2,056 crore, as part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the Ministry’s SPECIAL ACCELERATED ROAD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME for NORTH EAST (SARDP-NE). The objective was to bring the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh closer to each other.