Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)

Activities undertaken for Disability Sector

Department of Communications

Scheme for allotment of PCO/STD to Persons with Disabilities

The guidelines for allotment of PCO/STD are as under:

    1. Eligibility
      1. No educational qualification is required in respect of handicapped including mentally handicapped and blind, Ex-servicemen; SC/ST and war widows in urban as well as rural areas.
      Application is to be submitted in the prescribed Performa enclosing the unemployment certificate and agreeing to the terms and conditions prescribing by the Department of Telecom for the operation of STD PCOs. The unemployment certificate should be issued by local MPs/ MLAs/ Revenue authorities of the rank of Tehsildar and above/ employment officer/ Chairman or Member of Zilla Parishad/ Panchayat or Village Pradhan or Secretaries of recognized Social Organisations like Rotary Club/ Lions Club etc. who have jurisdiction over the locality where the applicant resides.
    2. Procedure of allotment
      1. STD/ISD PCOs shall be allotted to the educated unemployed, SC/ST, Ex-servicemen, handicapped person and war widows besides Charitable Institutions, Educational Institutions andamp; Army establishments liberally as per the eligibility criteria. Wherever there is waiting list for STD/ ISD PCOs, the order of priority shall be war-widows/ dependents, SC/ST, handicapped persons and ex-servicemen to the extent of 50% of the STD/ ISD PCOs to be allotted.
      2. One STD/ ISD PCO shall be allotted to each eligible applicant, More than one PCO can be allotted in the same premises, if desired by the franchisee, in the cities and town where competition from private basic service providers exist or whenever starts in future as per the existing instructions.
      3. There shall be no specific percentage of exchange capacity earmarked for STD/ ISD/ Local PCOs. PCOs can be allotted to any extent of the exchange capacity in order to clear the waiting list wherever telephone is available on demand. At all other places, 10% of the exchange capacity shall be utilized for PCOs. Wherever there is waiting list, war-widows, SC/ST, handicapped persons and ex-servicemen shall be allotted STD/ ISD PCOs in relaxation of the 10% exchange capacity constraints.
      4. The STD/ ISD PCO allotment committees functioning in the SSAs are abolished.
      5. The condition of average earning of the existing franchisees for allotting new PCOs is abolished and STD/ ISD PCOs are to be allotted irrespective of the amount of average earning of the existing PCOs.
    3. General conditions
      1. One applicant should be provided with only one STD Payphone. However, the existing bulk franchisees will continue to operate as per terms and conditions of their existing agreement.
      2. All STD Payphones should be so installed that they face public road/ lane to allow free access to public.
      3. The opening hours of such public telephone would be at least from 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M
      4. Terminal equipment used by the allottee should be interface approved and they should not be programmable locally. Simple call loggers/ charge indicators manufactured by Hindustan Tele printers Ltd. or other manufacturers which are interface approved by the department should be used. Use of stop watch will not be permitted (list of approved charge indicators is being circulated separately)
      5. The allottee of STD PCO will be entitled to 20 paise per call unit upto 10,000 call units, 15 paise per call unit in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 call units and 10 paise per call unit beyond 20,000 call units as commission for the total number of call units made over a period of one month.
    4. Procedure for recovery of security deposit and bills from STD PCO allottees will be as under:
      1. Two accounts either in a Public Sector bank or in Post Office saving bank will be opened per STD/PCO allottee. The first account will be opened in the name of Department of Telecom. In which the allottee will deposit daily the entire collection of the day after deducting 20 paise per call unit upto 10,000 calls unit, 15 paise per call unit in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 call units and 10 paise call unit beyond 20,000 call units as commission for the total number of calls unit made over a period of one month. The A.O. (TR) will monitor the proper deposit of the amount by coordinating with the bank/ post office and will also ensure that all bills in respect of these STD PCOs are timely adjusted from above amount. The other account will be in the name of the allottee and it will be pledged to the President of Union of India. The allottee will deposit 5 paise per call unit in this account daily towards security deposit and this deposit will continue to be made till the amount becomes equal to Rs. 5000/- in respect of Urban STD PCOs or Rs. 600/- in the case of rural STD PCOs or average one month revenue whichever is higher. In rural areas, it the facility of Bank of Post Office is not available nearby, the above deposits can be made weekly. The telephone inspector and JTOs in the field will periodically inspect and check the passbooks of PCO allottees for prompt depositing. Defaulters, if any, in this regard should be brought to the notice of higher authorities for taking action against them. Lapses on the part of the field staff during inspection will be dealt with severe penalties.
      2. The security deposit can also be deposited in cash in one instalment or be in the form of a Bank Gurantee.
      3. Rates of pulses should be displayed prominently by the allottee of STD PCOs for all important stations in the country and all stations within 200 kms.
      4. The applicants have to apply in the prescribed form for the allotment of STD PCOs.
      5. The applicant should sign an agreement in the prescribed form with the Telecom Authority when an STD PCO is allotted to him.
      6. Incoming call facility will be allowed on all STD PCOs.
      7. Shifting of STD PCOs within the local areas is permitted normal shifting charges applicable to DEL will be levied.
      8. Periodical surprise checks should be done to see that the allottee charges customers as per the guidelines given by Department of Telecom.
      9. Guidelines for applying for PTs and rural governing them should be published in the commercial information pages of the telephone directory.
      10. Periodical advertisement may be inserted in local newspapers, when sufficient number of applicants are not forth-coming.
  2. RURAL
    Apart from the general conditions the following guidelines have to be followed in respect of rural STD PCO operation. The rural STD PCO is defined for this purpose as one working in an exchange system which has a total capacity of 512 lines and less:
    1. A minimum guaranteed revenue per PCO per month in the case of rural STD PCOs is fixed as Rs. 100/-.
    2. A security deposit of Rs. 600/- based on six months guaranteed revenue or monthly average revenue whichever is higher has to be deposited by the allottee of the STD rural PCO. This average revenue is calculated on the basis of the revenue of the previous six months.
    3. Weekly billing cycle would be followed for recovery of STD PCO charges.
    Apart from the general conditions mentioned above, the guidelines detailed below have to be followed in respect of the STD PCOs scheme in Non-rural (Urban) areas :
    1. Atleast one STD PCO may be made available for about every 100 dwelling/ Business Premises.
    2. While selecting the location for allotment of PCO, the SSA Head will consult the local bodies like Municipality, Public Institutions etc. to allocate convenient places for the PCO Booths. The important places given below should invariably be covered while selecting the location of PCO booths:
      • Commercial Housing Societies
      • Resettlement Colonies
      • Government Colonies
      • Family Quarters of Defence Personnel
      • Students Hostel
      • Bus Stands
      • Tourist Centres
      • Airports
      • Pilgrim Centres
      • Railway Stations
      • Charitable Institutions
      • Hospitals
      • Educational Institutions, Public Libraries
    3. A minimum guaranteed revenue per PCO per month to the Department in the case of Non-rural (Urban) STD PCO is fixed as Rs. 1600/-.
    4. The amount of security deposit will be Rs. 5,000/- or an amount equal to the average monthly revenue whichever is higher. The average monthly revenue will be calculated on the basis of previous six months revenue.
    5. Fortnightly billing cycle will be followed for recovery of STD PCO charges. If the charges are heavy, weekly billing may be resorted to by local telecom authority.

Provision of concessional telephone connection on priority to blind persons

  1. The case of provision of concessional telephone facility on priority to blind persons has been under consideration of the department, as a welfare measure. It has been decided to provide telephone facility to blind persons on the following terms and conditions.
  2. Registration fee normal, as in the case of a private subscriber.
    Installation charges normal, as in the case of a private subscriber.
    Rental rebate 50% of the normal rental.
    Advance rental 50% of the annual advance rental and bi-monthly rental as applicable to a private subscriber.
    Category Non OYT Special
    Free call units as admissible to a private subscriber.
  3. A blind person is eligible to only one telephone under this scheme.
  4. The application form must be supported by a “visually blind certificate”’ issued by the CMO/MS/ Opthalmic Surgeon of a district level Government hospital or above.
  5. Blind persons already having the facility of a telephone connection may approach the telecom authority with requisite certificate and request rental rebate under the scheme. He/ she will be eligible for the concession from the date the conversion has been effected.
  6. On the death of the blind hirer, the telephone is transferable to the legal heir on normal rent, in case, the legal heir is not eligible to concession under the scheme.

Department of Information Technology

Activities undertaken for Disability Sector

Development of Braille literacy in Indian languages

This project has been initiated under Jai Vigyan National Sandamp;T Mission program. Under this project, software and hardware products have been developed which includes a refreshable tactile reader that enables blind persons to read any file in a computer. The software converts the word/text files into Braille format which are then fed to the device which activates the piezo electric elements to generate the Braille dots. This can be used for any of the 12 major Indian Languages and English. Braille to Text, Text to Braille software, Direct Braille Keyboard, Electronic Class Room for the blind, an Electronic Library for the blind using the tactile devices are other products that have been developed. The software and hardware products developed under the project have been deployed in 30 blind schools/institutions all over the country.

Handheld Scanner Based Hindi and English Text Reading Machine for Visually Impaired Persons

The project envisages to develop a Light Weight Portable Hand Held Scanner that will be interfaced with OCR and Text to Speech Software in English and Hindi to enable blind persons to read/consult normal printed text books.

Information Technology for Internet Access and Rehabilitation for Visually Handicapped

The project aims to develop software packages that could enable blind persons to browse web pages or read their e-mails with the help of the Tactile Device or a Text to Speech System.

Media Lab Asia

The Media Lab Asia (MLAsia) aims to research and innovate developments in the areas of information and communications technologies for the benefit of the poor and needy population. The MLAsia works with the academic/research institutions, industry, NGOs and government to bring these innovations for the benefits of masses.

MLAsia organized four sector specific workshops in the area of –

  1. Cost effective rural connectivity
  2. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for improving health care services in the remote areas by using telemedicine and internet services
  3. ICT to improve education delivery and literacy
  4. ICT for disabled

Based on the outcome of the workshops, teams have been constituted to work out specific projects in these areas.

Shruti-Drishti-Computer Aided Text-to-Speech and Text-to-Braille System for Visually Impaired

A system has been developed in collaboration with C-DAC Pune and Webel Mediatronics Ltd. (WML), Kolkata to enable visually impaired persons access electronic documents from the websites both in speech and Braille forms. The beta version of the system is also available.

DOEACC Society

The DOEACC Society is contributing towards upliftment of under privileged sections of the Society by encouraging women, SC/ST and other economically weaker sections candidates to undergo the Society’s courses. The Society has got a large number of candidates belonging to SC/ST/OBC and other weaker sections of the society including female candidates enrolled and qualified in the courses. DOEACC Society is following a scheme for financial assistance to the women/SC/ST/OBC and other weaker sections of the society.

Scholarship Scheme to Physically Handicapped students

The Society has introduced a Scholarship Scheme for Physically Handicapped and other weaker sections of the society who are pursing O/A/B/C Level of courses of the DOEACC Society as a full time course through an Accredited Institute authorized to conduct the DOEACC Courses. The candidates shall have to clear all the papers in the first attempt and the income of the parents of the students should not be more than Rs. 1 lakh per year from all sources.

The amount of scholarship shall be four times of the examination fee paid per module paper i.e., Rs. 350/- as at present as under:

‘O’ Level - Rs. 5,600/- (in two installments)
‘A’ Level - Rs. 14,000/- (in three installments)
‘B’ Level - Rs. 21,000/- (in four installments)
‘C’ Level - Rs. 21,000/- (in three installments)

Initiatives taken for the welfare of Disabled Persons with Disabilities

Vocational Centers for Skill Creation for the Children with Disabilities in the area of Information Technology: ERNET has set up 20 vocational centers in schools – 10 in State of Tamil Nadu and 10 in NCR Delhi Region. These are for Differently-able children to build high degrees of self-reliance, self-esteem and confidence and acquire life-long learning skills (learning to learn) in an environment that allows them to transfer this learning to real-life situations. The vocational training centers are to enhance computer skills of disabled children, personality development and provide job-oriented training for employment in IT and IT enabled service industry.

Specialized agencies have been hired for providing the basic training as well as job-oriented training in association with the industry. An arrangement has been made with IT/ITES and BPO companies to provide BPO and ITES related training to the children with disabilities to enable these children to get employment. These centers have been equipped with computer peripherals which are specially designed for student with disabilities like blind and deaf to provide job-oriented training to disabled children – blind, low vision and deaf and dumb. These equipments include Talking Software, Screen Magnification, Talking Typing Teacher and Braille Embosser, OCT and Scanner, CCTV Print Magnifier device with TV for blind, and Assertive Listening Device and Hearing Amplification device for deaf. The infrastructure at schools is connected to LAN and internet to explore the World Wide Web.

Source: CCPD Annual Report 2006-2007