UPSC MAINS 2019: Year End Review 2018: Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under M/O Social Justice & Empowerment

Government of India Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Topic: Year End Review 2018: Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under M/O Social Justice  & Empowerment


Topic in Syllabus: GS Paper 3: Indian Society

Government of India Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment


  • In order to give focused attention to policy issue and meaningful thrust to the activities aimed at welfare and empowerment of the person with disabilities, a separate Department of Disability Affairs was carved out of the Ministry of Social justice & Empowerment on May 12, 2012.
  • The Department was renamed as Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities on 08-12-2014.
  • The Department acts as a nodal agency for matters pertaining to disability and persons with disabilities including effecting closer coordination among different stakeholders; related Central Ministries, State/UT Governments, NGOs etc. in matters pertaining to disability.
  • The Department is primarily entrusted with the task of empowerment of person with disabilities to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of person with disabilities so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified live.
  • To empower persons with disabilities through its various Acts/Institution/Organisations and Schemes for rehabilitation and to create an enabling environment that provides such persons with equal opportunities, protection of their rights and enables them to participates as independent and productive members of society.


To realize its vision and achieve the mission, the departments strives for the following objectives:-

  • Undertaking following measures for rehabilitation:
  • Physical rehabilitation, which includes early detection and intervention counseling and medical rehabilitation and assistance in procuring appropriate aids and appliances for reducing the effect of disabilities;
  • Educational rehabilitation including vocational education and
  • Economic rehabilitation and social empowerment.
  • Developing rehabilitation professionals/personnel.
  • Improving internal efficiency/responsiveness/service delivery.
  • Advocating empowerment of person with disabilities through awareness generation among different sections of the society.



  • 100 Accessible websites of various State Government/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched by the Union Minister for social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’.
  • Under the Scheme of Assistance to Disabled persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP), in the month of February, 2018, Special camps were held at 8 locations in the country for distribution of aids and assistive devices to Divyangjan.
  • Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment felicitated 17 member Blind Cricket World Cup winning Indian Team and presented them with a cash award of Rs.34 lakhs at a function in New Delhi. Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • The first and second meeting of the Central Advisory Board on disability was held under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of social justice and Empowerment in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The meeting was attended by Ministers and their representatives from various States/UTs representatives from various Central Ministries/Departments and other nominated members of the board.
  • The National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities, launched and Inclusive India Initiative. To spread the initiative in other parts of the country, a regional workshop was organized in Bhopal on 10th February 2018.
  • Review meeting with eight North-Eastern States was held at Guwahati, Assam to discuss issues relating to Schemes/Programmes/Initiative undertaken by the Department.
  • First Indian Sign Language Dictionary of 3000 words, developed by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), New Delhi, ISL dictionary consists of various categories of words, for example, legal terms, medical terms, academic terms, technical terms and daily use words.
  • The newly established ALIMCO Auxiliary Production Centre (AAPC) Ujjain was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister, Social Justice & Empowerment on The state of art production centre established under the Modernization programme of ALIMCO.
  • Department organized the ‘1st Sensitization Meeting of Stakeholders to make, Department has taken up the initiative to coordinate the meeting of all key stakeholders, sensitize them about the legal mandates and would hold supervisory role in this entire journey.
  • The National IT Challenge for Youths with Disabilities, in the age group of 13-21 years (school going or school dropout had been held at NIT Kurukshetra, Haryana.
  • Department organized a meeting with the Scientists of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO) on the issue of commercialization of various technological interventions developed by DST for the benefits of persons with disabilities.
  • A National workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities was held on 3rd July, 2018 in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
  • An Indian delegation headed by Hon’ble Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE), comprising Secretary, DEPwD attended the Global Disability Summit held at London on 24th July, 2018.
  • A National Workshop on Physical and Mental Disabilities in the light of Global Best Practices in Care. The workshop was hosted by National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), Chennai. The outcome of the workshop will support protocol development in the service deliveries and encourage adaptation of global best practices in Indian context.
  • A three day international event of the “Global IT challenge for Youth with Disabilities, 2018” was hosted by the Department in association with the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Government of Republic of Korea.
  • A MoU has been signed between the Government of Australia and the Government of India for cooperation in disability sector during the visit of Hon’ble President to Australia. Indian High Commissioner to Australia signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of India.


Schemes and initiatives:

  • Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP) Scheme – More than 1400 ADIP Camps were organized and more than 2.4 lakh Divyangjan were provided Aids Assistive Devices in 2018.
  • A Mega Distribution Camp was organized at Gwalior for distribution of Aids & Assistive devices to the Divyangjan and Senior Citizens.
  • It was done through ALIMCO (Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India), a CPSE under the Ministry.
  • Accessible India Campaign (AIC) – The aim is to create universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Built Environment, Transport, and ICT ecosystem.
  • So far, Access Audit of more than 1600 buildings in 50 cities has been completed by the auditors.
  • Accessibility provisions have been made in airports, railway stations, public transport buses, public websites, etc.
  • 100 Accessible websites of various State Government/UTs were launched as part of Accessible India Campaign.
  • Unique Disability Identification (UDID) Project – The Department has the UDID project to create national database for PwDs.
  • This is to issue Unique Disability ID (UDID) Card along with disability certificate.
  • Once the project covers all persons with disabilities, UDID Card will be made mandatory for availing various government benefits.


Sample Question:

Discuss the initiatives taken by ministry of social justice to empower the persons with disabilities?