Disability Data without Socio-Economic Figures 

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    Syllabus : GS 2/Social Justice 

    In News

    • The Union government  released Disability Data without Socio-Economic figures.

    About the Data 

    • The Union government is shelving whatever socio-economic data it has collected, while registering about 94 lakh Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) across the country for Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards in the last six years .
      • The data being shelved includes information like socio-economic category (caste), level of education, employment status, income (personal and family) and marital status of PwDs, with officials saying the focus of the form was always to collect disability data and hence all these fields were made optional.
        • Consequently, many skipped them.
    • Government is justifying the move by questioning the “quality” of the socio-economic data collected.

    Objectives 

    • The aggregated UDID data were meant to influence e-commerce organisations to design their platforms in a way that increases usability and purchase cycles among PwDs.
    •  The data were collected to also help efficient allocation of resources to address the specific needs of PwDs from various communities. 
    • The data were supposed to influence the education sector to introduce special educators and special requirements for PwDs.

    Issues and Concerns 

    • The fate of above objectives is now in limbo – with the government choosing not to publish the data collected through the fields of personal and family income (spouse and father), whether they were Below Poverty Line, employment status, occupation, socio-economic category (SC/ST/OBC/General), and level of education.
    • As the government’s plans to create a unified database of disability and socio-economic data for PwDs goes into cold storage, a Parliamentary panel had doubted the Department’s ability to even collect accurate population data through the UDID mechanism in time.

    Government’s Stand 

    • The data contains UDID information district-wise, gender-wise, age-wise, and disability type-wise (including level of disability).
    • The government hoped this will help NGOs in the social sector and researchers to build physical infrastructure that is accessible for persons with specific types and levels of disabilities. 
    • With the 2021 Census delayed indefinitely, the government had explained that UDID forms were meant to elicit enough information to design targeted policies for them. 
    Unique ID for Persons with Disabilities” Project

    – It is initiated by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities aims at building a holistic end-to-end integrated system for Issuance of Universal ID & Disability Certificates for persons with Disabilities with their identification and disability details.
    – It is being implemented with a view of creating a National Database for PwDs, and to issue a Unique Disability Identity Card to each person with disabilities. 
    1. The first UDID card was issued in January 2017.
    – It will not only encourage transparency, efficiency and ease of delivering the government benefits to the person with disabilities, but also ensure uniformity. 

    Source: TH