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PRESS RELEASE

Government of India National Advisory Council 20th April, 2012


1. The Twentieth meeting of the National Advisory Council was chaired by Smt. Sonia Gandhi on 20th April, 2012 at 2 Motilal Nehru Place, New Delhi. 2. Members who attended the meeting were Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Ms. Anu Aga, Ms Aruna Roy, Dr. N. C. Saxena, Ms. Mirai Chatterjee, Ms. Farah Naqvi, Shri Harsh Mander, Shri Deep Joshi, Prof. Pramod Tandon and Dr A.K. Shiva Kumar. 3. Shri P.K. Basu, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Government of India made a presentation on Agriculture Development for Food (Production) Security to the Council. 4. Dr. Narendra Jadhav, Convenor of the Working Group on Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) presented the recommendations of the Working Group on the following six broad categories : a. Administrative Actions b. De-criminalization of DNTs c. Legislative Actions d. Policy Inputs e. Program Strengthening and Targeting f. Institutional arrangements 5. In brief, the following are some of the main recommendations made by the Working Group: a. Enumeration and classification of DNTs is a first step towards identification of persons belonging to DNT communities. Therefore, DNTs should be given special focus in the Socio Economic Caste Census currently underway as well as priority in the issuing of UID cards. b. A national campaign to inform the DNT communities about their rights as SC/ST/OBC and to inform the public that violence/discrimination against these communities and violations of their human rights is punishable under law. c. Review the implementation of some of the existing Legislations, so as to provide safeguards for DNTs from harassment by the officials, and to ensure that the safety, livelihoods and nomadic life style of DNT

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communities are protected. An Umbrella Scheme for Socio-economic Empowerment of DNTs with a special focus on those DNTs who are classified as OBCs and those who are not classified as SC/ST. For those DNTs classified as Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, a proportion to be earmarked in SCSP/TSP commensurate with their share in SC/ST population respectively; A set of new programmes under the overall umbrella Scheme to be designed and implemented for DNTs, especially in respect of education, housing, livelihood and skill education as well as Community Organization and leadership building with special focus on women empowerment. An Integrated Infrasructural Development Programme to provide basic amenities such as road, school, electricity, drinking water, community centres, etc. in the existing settlements of DNTs. As part of strengthening the institutional arrangements, an Empowered Inter-Ministerial Task Force (STF) for DNTs to be set up and chaired by the Union Home Minister. deliberations, approved the

6. The National Advisory Council, after recommendations of the Working Group.

7. Shri Harsh Mander, Convener of the Working Group on Social protection, presented to the Council, recommendations of the Working Group on the The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2011 (RPDB) prepared by Dr Sudha Kaul Committee, appointed by the Government of India. 8. Some of the key recommendations are as follows: a. All relevant laws concerning rights of persons with disabilities (PWD)s may be reviewed from the view point of avoiding inconsistencies and duplication; and amendments if necessary may be carried out in close coordination by concerned Ministries. b. There is need to have adequate safeguards and mandatory reviews to ensure that the limited guardianship provision and supported decision making is exercised in the true interests of PWDs. c. The definition of disability should shift clearly to a social model as envisaged in the United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). d. Right to education to all children with disabilities should be safeguarded and the choice to such children to study in an inclusive school or special school should be protected by creating entitlements and clearly spelt out norms. e. The families with disabled members should be recognised to be poor (and food insecure).These may be given high weightage during identification of poor households and other poverty alleviation and social security programmes.

f. The RPDB should contain stringent anti-discrimination provisions to ensure productive employment and greater participation of persons with disabilities in workforce. g. The wide diversity of institutions concerned with rights of PWDs under various laws may be converged and rationalised to the extent possible to save costs and provide a single window of contact at the central, state or district level for PWDs to access their rights and secure redressal of their grievances. 9. The National Advisory Council decided to take into consideration the views of the Ministries and the public before finalizing the recommendations . 10. The next meeting of the NAC is scheduled to be held on 25th May, 2012.