Modi Govt committed to the welfare and empowerment of the Divyangjans, says Dr Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi, Jan 31, 2024, PIB

A delegation of the All India Federation of the Deaf (AIFD) called on Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, in New Delhi today ahead of the 68th Flag Week of the Deaf from 1st to 7th February.The delegation, led by its General Secretary Shri Roshan Kumar, pinned a sticker flag on the self of the Union Minister to mark the commencement of the Flag Week of the Deaf.Underlining that the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is committed to the welfare and empowerment of the Divyangjans, Dr Jitendra Singh said a path-breaking MoU was signed between the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) and National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) on 29th July last year to revolutionise and standardise Deaf Education with Indian Sign Language (ISL).On 23rd September 2023 to mark the World Sign Language Day, 10,000 ISL dictionary terms and Video Relay Service for the deaf community through WhatsApp video call were launched, including 260 signs of financial terms, he said.Dr Jitendra Singh said, PM Modi inaugurated the country's first high-tech sports training centre for Divyangjan, named after former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday last year.In a bid to further enhance financial inclusion and foster economic empowerment among the Divyangjan, Dr Jitendra Singh said the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) announced 1% interest rate rebate under National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC) loan for timely repayment.Dr Jitendra Singh said that since PM Modi assumed office in 2014, several initiatives have been taken by him for the welfare of Divyangs. This, he said, is in keeping with PM Modi's commitment to attend to those sections of society who were left out of the mainstream by the previous governments.“Under ‘The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016’, the categories of disabilities  have been increased from 3 to 5 and the Central Government retains the power to add more types of disabilities. Besides, the reservation quota for Divyangs has been increased from 3 to 4 per cent in Central Government Services and 5 per cent in Education for them,” he said.Stating that Divyangs are an integral part of human resource, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Government is all committed to work for an inclusive society and empowerment of persons with disabilities.“Be that the fee remission for Divyangs in Civil Services Examination, two choices of home cadre for Divyangs qualifying Civil Services Examination, increase in the Divyang pension, hike in attendant allowance etc., all possible steps have been taken by this government for the welfare of Divyangs,” he said.Dr. Jitendra Singh said that around 15,000 posts meant for Divyangs, which were lying vacant for long years, were filled under a special drive by the government. It was the idea of PM Modi who gave the title ‘Divyang’ (Divine Body) instead of ‘Viklang’ to address persons with disability.In the Ministry of Science & Technology also, Dr Jitendra Singh informed, several schemes had been introduced in the last ten years to support Divyangs in science, technology and StartUps.Dr Jitendra Singh said the government has set up a special sports training institute for the Divyang at various places in the country including one at Shillong.