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Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016: Important Points and PDF

Image showing a person trying to climb into a public bus in India.
Lalit Kumar | May 6, 2017(Last update: September 25, 2021)

Lalit Kumar is a Polio Survivor and the founder of WeCapable. He loves finding useful things on Internet and knows how to put them together to create a bigger solution. He is passionate about technology, languages and literature. Besides WeCapable, Lalit has also founded TechWelkin, Kavita Kosh and Gadya Kosh websites.

Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 (R.P.W.D.) was enacted under the Article 253 of the Constitution of India read with item No. 13 of the Union List. India has been in a great need of such an Act as there was no comprehensive law that could define and implement rights of the persons with disabilities in the country.

  • This act was passed to fulfill India’s obligation to UNCRPD.
  • Draft Bill of this Act was created in 2011
  • The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 14 December 2016 and by Lok Sabha on 17 December 2016
  • Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 came into effect on 30 December 2016
  • It replaced the Persons with Disability (P.w.D.) Act that was enacted way back in 1995

Important Points in the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016

Download the full PDF file of this Act (Source: Department of Disability Affairs, Government of India)

Here is a list of Disability Laws and Acts enacted by various countries around the world.

This Act is considered to be comprehensive and it aims to provide equal opportunities to persons with disabilities in India (although we feel that the language used in certain portions of the Act is loose). Some of the salient features of this Act are:

Also See:Infographic on RPWD Act 2016

Summary of RPWD Act 2016 is also available in sign language.

  • According to the Act any person who “intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a person with a disability in any place within public view” is punishable with imprisonment.
  • To increase the job opportunities of persons with disabilities, the Act has increased the reservation quota from 3% to 4%. This means that 4% of all vacancies in the government organizations will be reserved for disabled people.
  • Another very important feature of this Act is the provision of special courts in each district. These special courts will handle cases pertaining to the violation of the rights of P.w.D.
  • A large number of children with disabilities do not get proper education in India. This act proposes that every child with disability gets free education from the age of 6 to 18.
  • State Governments will constitute district-level committees to address the local issues of P.w.D.
  • Office of Chief Commissioner and the Office of State Commissioners of Persons with Disabilities have been given more powers.
  • Broad-based Central & State Advisory Boards on Disability are to be set up to serve as apex policy-making bodies at the Central and State level.
  • Victims of acid attacks have been included in the list of P.w.D. Unfortunately, in India, acid attacks have been on the rise in last few years. Girls and women are often left severely disfigured/disabled due to such attacks.
  • Dwarfism and Muscular Dystrophy have also been included as separate categories of disability.
  • Three blood disorders, Thalassemia, Hemophilia and Sickle Cell disease, have been included in the list of disabilities.
  • Number of types of disabilities have been increased from 7 to 21. The Central Government will have power to add more types of disabilities in this list. At present the list includes:
    1. Blindness
    2. Low-vision
    3. Leprosy Cured persons
    4. Hearing Impairment (deaf and hard of hearing)
    5. Locomotor Disability
    6. Dwarfism
    7. Intellectual Disability
    8. Mental Illness
    9. Autism Spectrum Disorder
    10. Cerebral Palsy
    11. Muscular Dystrophy
    12. Chronic Neurological conditions
    13. Specific Learning Disabilities
    14. Multiple Sclerosis
    15. Speech and Language disability
    16. Thalassemia
    17. Hemophilia
    18. Sickle Cell disease
    19. Multiple Disabilities including deaf-blindness
    20. Acid Attack victims
    21. Parkinson’s disease
  • National and State Fund will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities.
  • Emphasis has been given to ensure accessibility in public buildings (both government and private) within a prescribed time-frame.

We, however, feel that there is need to do more on government’s part. One of the major concern is the vague language of the Act especially in the sections pertaining to discrimination and guardianship. Although the number of types of disabilities has been increased to 21, but still there are many people who will be left out. The list should be further expanded to include more people who are struggling with lesser known types of disabilities.

Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016 is a good beginning. But the rights of P.w.D. will be protected only if this Act will be implemented in its true spirit. Entire government machinery and the society at large will have to be sensitized towards the needs and equality of P.w.D. Equal opportunity for all can not be achieved only by passing a law. The entire society has to participate in creating such opportunities.

We hope that this article was useful for you. Please share your views and comments with us.

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23 responses to “Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act, 2016: Important Points and PDF”

  1. AvatarRaben Dassays:

    I am R.Das, from Assam, I would like to comment reg. New Act “Right of persons with Disabilities Act.2016. The new Act provide job opportunities to disable persons from 3% to 4% in the Govt. establishment. But the Act not given any clarification reg. promotion. The Sec.47(2) of old act Reg promotion was also cheating. The new Act. must be aggrieved to the Got. employees those who deprive from promotion till now. Some are going retirement without promotion. It will be big loss for them. A landmark Judgement Passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dtd. 30/06/2016 in W.P. (C) No.521/2008 with CA No.5389/2016 has, inter alia, declared this O.M. as illegal and inconsistent with the PWD Act.1995.” The Hon’ble Supreme Court directs reservation in promotion for disable persons in Government Job” But as per the Historical Judgement, the appropriate Government not circulated any instruction to the public authorities till date.

  2. AvatarSagar Guptasays:

    I am an PGDM/ MBA 2016 graduate with almost an year experience in marketing. I amsuffering from cerebral palsy and have locomotive disorders. Somehow I felt while on the job or at home people do bully, sympathize and there is less support specially from my mother. She usually treats me like a burden coz I could not stick to one job and I was looking for job for myself in a domain for which I have always thought for but could not find the one. My confidence level is good but I feel timid when girls are around in corp orates or when I am visiting any of my relatives. I wanted to be an entrepreneur but with the status quo I am confused shall I join the private organization or begin up with government job preparation because my mother does not want to support financially anymore and she says it openly.

    Could you please guide me the way…………………………

  3. AvatarPadmasays:

    Could you please comment / elaborate on roles of panchayat raj institutes for their duties towards the disabled according to RPWD Act 2016.


  4. AvatarChithrasays:

    Thank you, simplified very well.

  5. AvatarDevpriya Deysays:

    Can you please explain the clause regarding multiple disability in terms of reservation in Govt Jobs.

    I understand that Reservation of 4 percent for PwD is available in government jobs. 1 percent is reserved for blindness and low vision, an additional 1 percent for hearing and speech impairment, another 1 percent for locomotor disability including cerebral palsy, leprosy cured dwarfism, acid attack victims and muscular dystrophy and remaining 1 percent for autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness.

    ” multiple disabilities from amongst persons under clauses (a) to (d) including deaf-blindness in the posts identified for each disabilities”. Kindly explain. Thank you.

  6. Avatarsujatha Rsays:

    Thank you for compiling such a beautiful section for those working in that area. Request you to guide us in how we can bring certain rare diseases and genetic disorders which result in multiple disabilities like the Lysosomal Storage Disorders to be part of the disabilities list. If you can put them on your list, it will be so much useful. There are lot of patients who suffer from these disabilities and are not covered by insurance too because of the preexisting genetic condition. Request this forum to take up their cause.

    Sujatha R

  7. Avatarnagarathna Gsays:

    good information about autism. it helped to my studies also. very easily understandable.

  8. AvatarRamesh Kumarsays:

    I have obtained disability certificate in 2011. After the RPWD act of 2016 shall I have to obtain fresh certificate. Please answer.

    • Lalit KumarLalit Kumarsays:

      No. RPWD Act 2016 does not require you to obtain a new disability certificate. Your disability certificate is still valid as per the conditions written on it.

  9. AvatarB V R Nairsays:

    Is it mandatory that every Govt Institution should reserve 4%posts to pwd .What can I do if a govt institution is not adopting reservation in employment to differently abled. Should I approach High Court for Orders

  10. AvatarSwapnil Sanglesays:

    Does learning disability [ Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia] covered under Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act ?

    I have got my learning disability [ Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia] from Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital. On that it is mentioned for educational purpose only. So for any job purpose, Do i have to obtain a new certificate?
    Please answer

  11. Avatarelcy pintosays:

    Very well explained. Thank you,
    I would like know about technology use for teaching learning process in the classroom. Majority policies are emphasizing on assistive technology use for easy and comfortable learning. Is schools (special or mainstream) integrates any technology or devices for pedagogy?

  12. AvatarBankim Joshipurasays:

    Dear Lalit Kumar

    I lost my left leg ( below knee ) in Road Accident in year 2004 .
    Presently working in private Company .
    Can you guide me that which type of Benefits at private industrial level .

  13. AvatarDr.PTBaburajsays:

    I am working as the Hon. Director of Interuniversity Centre for Disability Studies in MG University Kottayam, Kerala. I am the expert member of State Advisory Board on Disability Kerala. I would like to know more about technical development in the area of disability and any new venture in this field regarding conferences, seminars, workshop etc. Thanks to my brothers and sisters.

  14. Avatarkartiksays:

    hello sir my name is kartik my right eye has no vision and disability is 60 percent.right now i clear need entrance i want to opt bhms homeopathy please mention the benchmark of percentage for quota

  15. AvatarJETHALAL K ADVANIsays:

    I am working with cement industry since 1996. I have promoted in 2018 for Grade M-8. In the Grade M-8 and above are received 27% Retirement Benefit (1) 12% EPF (2) 15% superannuation fund but a Disable Employee only received 12% EPF. I have not received proper justice from the Commissioner for Person with Disabilities from Gujarat (Gandhinagar). This is not Equal Retirement Benefit (Social Security) for Disable Person. This shows that discrimination with a Disable Employee. Please help me for getting proper justice in this matter.

  16. AvatarLaxminarayanasays:

    what action will be take on the persons who harassing the physical disabled persons.

    • AvatarLaxminarayana sathellysays:

      what action will be take on the persons who harassing the physical disabled persons.

  17. Avatarbrajkishor vishwakarmasays:


  18. AvatarAnitha P Nairsays:

    my son has learning disability,in his disability certificate given by a medical board in kerala,in which only IQ is given as 88 and no percentage is specified ,because of that the school denied his admission under differently abled category.when we approached the hospital medical board they said that percentage cannot be given,my son is mild autistic from his childhood itself and we uplift him to this level by giving proper training,guidance etc.What we have to do to get this percentage in the certificate.

  19. AvatarVENKATESANsays:

    The existing 3% Reservation in promotion in central government departments whether ceased of due to the implementation of RPWD Act, 2016 since there was no mention in DoPT dated 15.01.2018 about promotion.

  20. AvatarVishwajeet Patilsays:

    Can anyone please tell me which disabilities are listed in Annexure‐I of RPWD Act 2016? Apparently, this is not mentioned in the pdf available.

  21. AvatarSundarisays:

    My brother is a scizophrenia patient. Will he get disability certificate? If his disability is 40 percent or less will he be eligible to receive my fathers pension? He is under medication and does not have any other source of income. Can he receive the pension himself.


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