In a step aimed at enhancing access to rehabilitation facilities for persons with disabilities (PwDs), the Central government has decided to waive the fees for registration, diagnostics and treatment at all nine national institutes and 21 associated composite regional centres (NRCs) across states from January 1 for all those having unique IDs for PwDs.

The benefit will also be extended to those who have disability certificates and are enrolled on the UDID portal, irrespective of the percentage of disability.
In terms of benefit to eligible candidates it would mean waiver of fee and other charges ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 10,000.
A special counter will also be set up to assist those who have still not registered for the UDID card.

In a letter to the directors of all NIs, secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilties, Rajesh Aggarwal has also asked them to prepare for waiver of the full course fee for those students enrolled in various courses at NIs/CRCs, who are UDID card holders, as well as for those who have disability certificate and are enrolled on the UDID portal, irrespective of percentage of disability.
This will be effective for 2022-23 batch students onwards and including all those who are doing two years or more duration courses and are in their second, third and fourth year.

“Such an initiative will pave the way for other government organisations to link the UDID card with the benefits to persons with disabilities,” union minister for social justice and empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar said.

The NIs offer courses ranging from certificates, diplomas, graduation level programmes and even M.Phil programmes.

In 2021-22 over 15.29 lakh beneficiaries reached out to NIs and CRCs for various rehabilitaiton services and courses. This includes students with and without disabilties who are enrolled in courses on a wide range of subjects like care giving, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and hearing among others.

Officials said that a special counter will be set-up at the NIs and CRCs to help the PwDs who are still not registered on the UDID portal to to apply. The latest count on UDID cardholders across the country stands at 87.92 lakh.