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The Hindu Editorial

8-January-2024

1. Structured negotiation as a boost for disability rights.

Topic: GS2 – Polity – Judiciary – Functioning – Alternative dispute resolution mechanism
Crucial for UPSC, addressing disability rights through structured negotiation ensures inclusive governance, aligning with constitutional values and social welfare legislations.
Context:
  • The article explores the success of structured negotiation in resolving disability rights cases, particularly in the United States.
  • It emphasizes its potential application in India to address accessibility issues, highlighting its benefits for both service providers and persons with disabilities.
Introduction:
  • Structured negotiation is a collaborative, solution-driven dispute resolution technique gaining popularity as an alternative to litigation.
 Success Stories:
  • Effectively addressed issues like inaccessible ATMs, point-of-sale devices, pedestrian signals, and service provider websites.
  • Major companies (Walmart, CVS, Caremark) adopted accessible solutions, including prescription bottles for blind or low vision customers.
  • Achieved institutional reforms in creating more accessible voting machines and websites.
 Win-Win Situation:
  • Success lies in creating a win-win situation.
  • Defaulting service providers avoid costs and negative publicity associated with litigation.
  • Complainants seek barrier-free participation in the marketplace.
  • Methodology enhanced by the establishment of disabled-friendly legal precedents.
India’s Challenge:
  • Red tape and increasing court delays in India dissuade parties from traditional dispute resolution methods.
  • Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, allows reporting non-compliance to the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD).
  • Impact on repairing accessibility barriers uncertain.
Potential of Structured Negotiation in India:
  • Valuable tool in India where traditional legal routes face challenges.
  • Recent case of PayTM highlights the need for real-time vigilance in making digital services accessible.
  • Provides a direct avenue for Persons with Disabilities to address concerns and monitor implementations.
Priority is Key:
  • Success in alternative dispute resolution depends on service providers prioritizing the struggles of persons with disabilities.
  • Until providers recognize benefits of serving this market, achieving amicable settlements outside courts remains challenging.
  • Businesses that prioritize disabled users’ needs and embrace structured negotiation can tap into significant buying capacity of persons with disabilities.
Conclusion:
  • Time has come for India to embrace structured negotiation extensively.
  • Businesses that fail to prioritize needs of disabled users risk losing out on both legal compliance and substantial purchasing power of persons with disabilities.
  • Openness to structured negotiation is a powerful step toward inclusivity and accessibility.
PYQ: What are the major changes brought in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 through the recent Ordinance promulgated by the President? How far will it improve India’s dispute resolution mechanism? Discuss. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2015) (200 words/12.5 m)
Practice Question: How can structured negotiation serve as an effective tool in addressing accessibility barriers and ensuring disability rights, particularly in the context of India’s legal framework? Discuss. (250 words/15 m)

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