Eradication of arbitrary Scribe policy from India sign now

The visually impaired candidates and candidates whose writing speed is affected by cerebral palsy can use their own scribe during the written examination conducted by Banking sector and other examination authorities for the recruitment in India.
These examination authorities, specially Banks impose an arbitrary rule on the examinees that the Scribe should posses lesser marks than the candidates and not more than 60\% marks in his/her own academic stream.
I Amit Bhatt, along with my friends challenging this arbitrary clause in Delhi High Court since the existing clause is violating the right of equal opportunity of the handicapped examinees and many of us are losing the opportunities of taking our exams due to non availability of Scribe having less than 60\% marks at todays highly competitive World.

The Scribe rule of less than 60\% marks seems to be arbitrary and needs to be eliminated on the basis of the below grounds:
Fallacious adverse presumption against blind as a class

1. The Examination Authority is presuming that if the Scribe of a Visually Impaired having more than 60\% marks or more than the marks secured by the Visually Impaired Examinee then the Examinee can take the help of his or her Scribe in the examination. But we cannot enforce this arbitrary rule on the Candidate on the basis of self-presumption of any Examination Board or Authority.
Presumption of fraud/cheating merely because a group takes reasonable accommodation in an exam including appropriate human support in form of scribe which is duly sanctioned by persons with disabilities act, and recently passed UN convention on rights of persons with disabilities, cannot be sustained under any law. Even the criminal law presumes innocence of the accused unless proved guilty. So, imposint arbitrary conditions on the scribe to be taken in the name of preventing presumed fraud/cheating is not an adequate safeguard on the support to be taken, but is a clear instance of degrading the disability of the blind examinee and subjecting them to an arbitrary and disadvantageous treatment viz-a-viz their sighted counterparts. Why such presumption of fraud/cheating is not raised against sighted examinees and why are they not subjected to such degrading and arbitrary treatment like mandatory strip-searching is a moot point. As such, blindness is the only ground of discrimination in this case, which goes against all cannons of disability law, and the constitution of India.

Curbing cheating responsibility of invegilation
Being cheater or being honest is a part of a human characteristic and nature. Be it Blind, be it sighted, anyone can be a cheater or honest. Therefore, just presuming that Visually Impaired Examinees can do cheating in the examinations and then fraiming a certain rule like Scribe should not have more than 60\% marks is completely unfair and violation of human rights.
We cannot consider the entire community as a criminal if one
individual has done any crime.

2. It is the responsibility of an Invigilator to stop the cheating during the examination. The sighted examinees are not bounded with any such rules or clause of marks percentage and so on. Then why a Blind Candidate is delimited with some additional clauses framed out on the basis of self-presumption. If an Invigilator can control a sighted examinee, why he cannot control a Blind Examinee.
If the Examination Authority think that they are not been able to provide an adequate invigilation during the exams or the Invigilator is fail to control the candidates, then it is a matter to be resolved by the Examination Board, not by the Candidate. I therefore, appeal to remove this supplementary clause for Scribe of not having more than 60\% marks. A Blind Candidate cannot take the responsibility of the failure of the invigilation. But currently the examination authorities, specially banks are bounding us with the superfluous clause and the Visually Impaired candidates have been paying the cause of the invigilation failure of the examination Authorities.

3. The exam for 10th standard has already been declared as home exam to be conducted by the School and the same policy is going to be implemented on 12th standard examination in the coming period of 20-12 and 2013. Recently in June July 2011, various Colleges of Delhi University had released their 1st cutoff list for the admission with 100\% marks and even though the students got admission in the Colleges. Even the 3rd cutoff list of the Colleges was very high. It shows a greatness of current competition in the Education. Further more, the time has been changed and it is quite difficult to find a Scribe with less than 60\% marks in the current compatative World. As a result, many Blind candidates are constantly losing their opportunities to appear in the exam since they do not find the Scribe with lessor marks and we do understand that the Examination Board or Authority shall be liable and responsible for this loss of many Visually Impaired candidates since we are the wictim of the above clause framed out by these Examination Authorities only.

Person with less than 60\% necessarily incompetent to write by taking dictation

4. If the Scribe is having less than 60\% marks, then it is obvious that his understanding would not be that good and he may not be able to read the question paper for the Blind candidate properly and write the answer what the candidate is telling him. On many occasions it is found that a Scribe with lessor marks was not able to read the question paper correctly and as per the minimum comfortable level of the Examinee. Since we are Visually Impaired and Scribe is our medium or tool to write on the answer sheet during the exam, we cannot afford to lose our performance just because of a bad Scribe. A bad Scribe may bring down the presentation of a Visually Impaired Examinee.
Capacity to process language in spoken and written form is the prime ingredient of intelligence as propounded by a host of psychologists, and a person scoring below 60\% is essentially lacking in such language processing. It requires above average language processing capacity to properly read out the questions to blind examinee and correctly take the dictation and transmit the ghoughts/words of blind examinee to paper which a below average student cannot do effectively, thus greatly depriving blind examinee of her/his chances of securing a job.

5. As it is mentioned in the above point number 2, Blind candidates are kept in a heavy lost due to unwanted clause for Scribe with less than 60\% marks and the Examinations Authorities are enforcing this clause on the VI candidates in place of the proper invigilation or vigilance. Ultimately, the VI candidates are being harassed and also not being provided with the proper opportunity to take exams by the Examination Authorities on the ground of the Scribe rule of not having more than 60\% marks.

Juniority sufficient safeguard

6. Since a valid rule is already being implemented as the Subscribe should be one grade lower than the Examinee in the qualification, there is no possibility of cheating in the exam and the Scribe cannot help the Examinee since his level of knowledge would not be higher than the Examinee/Candidate as he is already junior than the Examinee in qualification. Moreover, when the Scribe is one grade lower than the candidate in qualification/education, it is more than obvious that the Scribe has not read, studied or prepared for the exam of the candidate, as it was not required for him. I therefore strongly believe that there is no scope for the candidate to take the help from his or her Scribe in the exam.
As per my another argument, a person studding in the lower standard than the another person studding in the higher standard, would not have the knowledge of the course of that next or higher standard. For an instance, a 11th pass student would not have the knowledge of the Course of 12th Class. Thus a Scribe having a less qualification than the Examinee would not be able to help the Examinee by all mean in the examination.
Secondly, there is no similarity between the study material of School/College and the study material of the job related exams such as Banking and so on. Therefore, I would again say that the clause for Scribe for less than 60\% marks is unnecessary, arbitrary and surplus to the requirements.

7. Visually Impaired candidates are being deprived to avail the full opportunity to take the exam by framing out the current disputed clause of the Scribe. We are indeed losing the opportunities since we face a huge difficulty on the practical ground when we go to search a Scribe with less than 60\% marks through our limited sourses. This way the said clause is a violation of the right to equal opportunity of the Visually Challenged examinees.

Not based on any imperical evidence

8. What is the base and source of the existing Scribe policy of less than 60\% marks, and from where the examination authorities have got such rules to implement.

9. It is highly objectionable to notice that on many occasions State bank of India doesnt mentioned the clear policy of using Scribe/Writer, specially the clause of using Scribe with less than 60\% marks on their Recruitment Advertisement/Notice but they just intimate the disabled candidates about the use of Scribe having less than 60\% marks through Call Letter (Admit Card) just 5-7 days prior to the examination. For example: SBI did not mention the Scribe policy of less than 60\% marks on the Advertisement no. CRPD/PO/AB/2011-12/02
WRITTEN EXAMINATION : 07.08.2011 (SUNDAY) and, they informed the examinies on an inappropriate time. I am sure that on very short notice, it is again hard to seek a Scribe for the Visually Impaired and persons with disabilities. It is more than obvious that the candidates endeavor to seek a Scribe just after reading the recruitment Advertisement. We therefore say that the above arbitrary Scribe policy of less than 60\% marks is neither commonsensical nor being used in a legitimate manner. We think that the policy has no legal recognition and it is just being forced on us. Therefore, we believe that the Visually Impaired examinees are being asked to follow over and above in the name of Scribe Guideline and policy. Undoubtedly, the Recruitment Board or Examination Authorities misusing the clauses and the Visually Challenged examinees are being badly mistreated, harassed and divested from the Right of Equal Opportunity. Creating the unnecessary barriers in the name of above arbitrary clause proves that the related Recruitment Cells or Organizations are indirectly denying to hire the persons with disabilities which is again a violation of right to opportunities and Employment and PWD Act of 1995.

10. Further, the Examination Authorities do not understand the meaning of competent scribe.

Competence means scribe should be fluent in reading and writing the language the candidate is attempting exam in and must possess basic spelling and other
Language can be English, or it can be marathi or any other.
For a candidate taking exam in Marathi/Hindi, a scribe reasonably good in English but not in those languages, would be an incompetent scribe.
Example: If I am dictating my Scribe in English Language on a subjective exam, he should be good enough to know the spelling and other basic skills of writing. I M not suppose to tell him the speling of each word like T H E becomes The, T H A T becomes That and so on. Similarly, the Writer should be good enough to reading and explaining the question paper to a Visually Impaired Examiny. But a Writer having lessor marks in his Education/Qualification, may not be able to write or read properly due to the lack of the good skills.

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Benjamin RosarioBy:
Petition target:
Amit Bhatt and Others


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