On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December, 2018, the Vice President of India Shri M. Venkiah Naidu will confer the National Awards on Individuals, Institutions, Organizations, State/District etc for their outstanding achievements and work done towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) at a function in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thawarchand Gehlot, Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar, Shri Ramdas Athawale, Shri Vijay Sampla, Secretary DEPwD Smt. Shakuntala D. Gamlin and various dignitaries will also grace the occasion. A total of 56 individuals and 16 institutions will be awarded on the occasion.
National Awards will be given under fourteen (14) broad categories, which are as under :-
- Best Employee/Self-Employed Person with Disabilities;
- Best Employers and Placement Officers and/or Agencies;
- Best Individual and Institution, working for the cause of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities;
- Role Model;
- Best Applied Research or Innovation or Product, aimed at improving the life of Persons with Disabilities;
- Outstanding Work in creation of barrier-free environment for Persons with Disabilities;
- Best District in providing rehabilitation services;
- Best State Channelizing Agency of the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC);
- Outstanding Creative Adult Persons with Disabilities;
- Best Creative Child with Disabilities;
- Best Braille Press;
- Best Accessible Website;
- Best State (i) in promoting Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities; & (ii) for implementation of Accessible India Campaign.
- Best Sports person with disability.
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) writes to the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and Central Ministries/Departments calling nominations for National Awards in various categories. Advertisement is also published in the national/regional language daily newspapers to give wide publicity to the Awards. The detailed scheme of National Awards as also the advertisement issued calling applications is uploaded on the website of the Department (www.disabilityaffairs.gov.in ) in a downloadable format.
For National Awards 2018, an advertisement inviting applications from persons belonging to all the 21 specified disabilities was published in the leading newspapers on 17th July, 2018. In all, 1221 applications were received till last date of receipt of applications. These applications were scrutinized as per the parameters prescribed in the Guidelines by four Screening Committees constituted for this purpose. The National Selection Committee in its meeting held on 1st November, 2018 considered the applications shortlisted by the Screening Committees and recommended 72 Awards in 14 categories of National Awards.
Till 2017, the Award Scheme was governed under the National Awards Rules, 2013 which provided 7 categories of disabilities as per the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995. However, with the coming into force of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 w.e.f. 19th April 2017, the number of specified disabilities increased from 7 to 21 under the new Law. Accordingly, all the 21 disabilities have been included under the National Award Guidelines which have been notified in the Extra-ordinary Gazette of India dated 2nd August, 2018.