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Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan: Accessible India Campaign

Nov 20, 2022

Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan: Accessible India Campaign

Our today's edition of Current Affairs is here. Read to know more about Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan: Accessible India Campaign. Also, find the topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus below:

For Prelims: Current Events of National Importance

Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, Accessible India Campaign (AIC), International Day of Persons with Disabilities, UNCRPD, Goal 3 of the Incheon Strategy, Rights for Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016.

For Mains: GS Paper II-Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections

About the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan, Background of the Accessible India Campaign, Aims and Objectives of the Accessible India Campaign, Three main pillars of AIC, Achievements of AIC.


Recently the Central Government initiative the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign) will be completing 7 years in December 2022.

Probable Questions

Explain the significance of the Accessible India Campaign (AIC) and how successful is the AIC campaign? (10 Marks, 150 Words)

About the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan

  • It is also known as the Accessible India Campaign (AIC).
  • The initiative was launched on 3rd December 2015 by the Indian Prime Minister on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Need: This Central Government initiative was launched for enhancing accessibility, and creating awareness, and sensitization for the creation of a universal barrier-free environment.
  • Significance: The Government resolved to provide universal accessibility, showing that the campaign is in line with the motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’.

Background of the Accessible India Campaign

  • Inspiration for Campaign: It has been drawn from the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) and the Action Plan.
  • Targets of the AIC: It has been derived from Goal 3 of the Incheon Strategy which endeavors to “Make the Right Real”.
  • Enactment: The government enacted the Rights for Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016 which came into force in April 2017, to provide full legislative cover to the Campaign and the right to accessibility.
  • Non-compliance: AIC has become an instrument to actualize the provisions of the Act, as Non-compliance of the provisions of the Act or Rules has been made punishable by fines and imprisonment.

Also Read a related topic on Draft National Policy for the Person with Disability and enhance your civils preparation.


Salient Features of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016

Section 40:

Formulation of rules laying down standards of accessibility in all 3 components, Built-up environment, Transportation sector, and Information & Communication Technology ecosystem, in Urban and Rural areas.

Section 41 to 43 provides facilities for access to transport, ICT, and universally designed consumer products.

Section 44 ensures mandatory observance of the Accessibility Law as per laid down standards (Section 40).

Sections 45 and 46 deal with the time limit for making existing infrastructure/services accessible - Buildings (5 years) and Services (2 years).

Aims and Objectives of the Accessible India Campaign

  • The Campaign aims at formalizing the process of creating a barrier-free environment and providing disabled-friendly access in public facilities and places.
  • The main objective is to mainstream accessibility to make it inherent in our culture and ethos.

Three Main Pillars of the Accessible India Campaign

The following three pillars are in the process of becoming accessible:

  • Built-Up Environment
  • Transportation System
  • Information & Communication (ICT) ecosystems.

Achievements of Accessible India Campaign

  • Built-Up Environment:
    • Access Audit of 1671 buildings completed.
    • 1630 Government buildings, including 1030 Central Government buildings have been provided with features of accessibility.
  • Accessibility of Transportation Sector:
    • Airports: 35 International Airports and 55 Domestic Airports have been provided with features of accessibility. Ambulifts are available at 12 airports.
    • Railways: All 709 A1, A & B category railway stations have been provided with seven Short Term Facilities. 603 railway stations have been provided with 2 Long Term Facilities.
    • Roadways: 1,45,747 (29.05%) buses have been made partially accessible and 8695 (5.73%) made fully accessible
  • ICT Ecosystem (Websites): Nearly 627 Central and State/UT government websites have been made accessible.
  • Accessibility in TV viewing:
    • 19 private news channels are telecasting partially accessible news bulletins.
    • 2447 news bulletins have been telecast with subtitling/sign-language interoperation.
    • 9 general entertainment channels have telecast 3686 scheduled programs/movies using subtitling
  • Education: Out of 11,68,292 government and government-aided schools, 8,33,703 schools (71%) have been made barrier-free with the provision of ramps, handrails, and accessible toilets
  • Institutional Literacy Material: The Department has developed an Easy Reckoner of 10 basic features of Accessibility for ease of understanding.
  • Monitoring activities under AIC: Activities are being monitored through a Management Information System (MIS) portal.
  • Formulation of Sector-Specific Standards of Accessibility: Various government departments are lending support through sensitization, handholding, and by recommending experts in the field of accessibility.
  • Sugamya Bharat App:
    • Helpful in crowdsourcing grievances of accessibility being faced on the ground in infrastructure and services and forwarding for redressal.
    • Helpful also in creating sensitization and awareness generation about the importance of accessibility.
    • COVID-19-related complaints which are meant only for Divyangjans are being given top priority now. To be cleared within 3 days.

Also Read: Political Participation of Persons with Disabilities

Way Forward

The first step to accessibility is sector-wise accessibility standards, which are required to be prescribed and notified. 

  • The Accessible India Campaign, Central Ministries/ Departments engaged in public services have been tasked to formulate standards/ guidelines within stipulated timeframes for their notification under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rules, 2017.

News Source: PIB

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