The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will now accept disability certificates issued to 'special' students only if a private doctor is registered with the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI).
A medical certificate issued to such students by a non-government organisation will be considered valid for granting them "exemptions and concessions" under a special category in schools only when it is registered with the RCI and the government.
The CBSE introduced these provisions in a set of guidelines, recently notified for granting of special concession and exemptions to the 'special' students in Class X and Class XII board examinations.
The guidelines have been formulated after several rounds of discussion in the board as concerns were being raised over "authenticity" of the medical certificates, mainly issued by private doctors and non-government organisations to students, especially those with neuro-developmental disorders.
"Only a doctor specialised in psychiatry can determine whether a child is suffering from dyslexia or not and issue a certificate. But, the absence of a clear-cut instruction for this had left an option open for the parents to get such certificate for their ward from any doctor," official sources told Deccan Herald.
Over the years, the board has recorded a significant rise in the number of students with dyslexia and other neuro-developmental disorders appearing in Class X and Class XII board examinations under persons with disability category.
"It's a trend in a positive direction. But at the same time, the board needs to ensure that certificates of disability issued to such students are genuine. The set of rules and guidelines issued on February 18 will ensure that the exemptions and concessions marked for special children go to only those students who deserve them," they added.
In its guidelines, the board has also sought to plug a loophole in the system of appointing a scribe for assisting special students in board examinations. Only those persons will now be appointed as scribe who have not his or her qualifications in the same subjects in which the student would be appearing in the board examination, the CBSE has clarified.
Spastic, visually impaired, physically handicapped, dyslexic, autistic and students with other disabilities defined in the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 are permitted to use a scribe and allowed compensatory time in board examinations.
Disability certificates issued to students by the hospitals run or controlled by the government, recognised institutes like National Association for the Blind, Spastic Society of India will continue to remain valid for granting special concessions and exemptions in board examinations, according to the CBSE guidelines.
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