A survey of specially-abled persons with high support need is currently underway in the state, the welfare minister said. Credit: Pixabay

Aizawl: As many as 1,160 differently-abled people were given assistance under The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, during 2017-2018, social welfare minister K Beichhua informed the state assembly on Friday.

There are two observation homes for differently-abled people of below 18 years — Bethsaida home at Durtlang and Rephidim home at Laipuitlang, both in Aizawl, Beichhua said while replying to a query from C Lalsawivunga of opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM).

He said that 15 specially-abled children are given care at Bethsaida and eight children with mental health issues are currently lodged at Rephidim.

The minister said that 3% job reservation has been created for person with disabilities (PwD) under the Act. He added that a survey of PwD with high support need is currently underway in the state.

Beichhua apologised to the House for scrapping the exam for recruitment of 20 employees under Poshan Abhiyan Project by the social welfare department.

He said that on January 1 the department floated advertisement for recruitment of several posts under the project, and according to central guidelines, the applicant should mandatorily be a local resident, he said.

The written test result was declared on February 9, and based on the merit list 54 applicants were declared to have qualified for personal interview, Beichhua said.

However, the minister alleged that the recruitment process was conducted without his knowledge. According to Beichhua, after cross-examination, when it was discovered that the 54 candidates were not localities, he called a meeting with officials of the social welfare department and asked them to cancel the personal interviews.

He said that when issue about 20 local candidates, who did not clear the written examination but were still called for personal interview, went viral on social media, he inquired the matter with the department officials and requested them to scrap the entire exam and call for fresh examinations.

Beichhua said that he wanted to maintain fairness in the recruitment process as a minister of the department . He said that he took responsibility for the anomalies and again, apologised for it.

Earlier opposition ZPM had alleged that the government was giving undue preference to the 20 candidates for recruitment under the Poshan Abhiyan Project and slammed the concern department for scrapping the entire recruitment process.

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