Outside IGNOU, zero transgender students in Central Universities: MHRD

Outside IGNOU, zero transgender students in Central Universities: MHRD
A 2018 protest against the 'Transgender Bill' (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Team Careers360 | Dec 2, 2019 - 7:18 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Human Resource Development told Parliament on December 2 that there isn’t even a single transgender student in any of the conventional Central Universities.

However, 814 transgender students have enrolled over the past five years in Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) which runs distance education programmes.

A Supreme Court judgement in 2014, popularly known as the NALSA judgement after main petitioner – the National Legal Services Authority of India – had recognised transgender people as the “third gender” and also as a backward class deserving of affirmative action in the form of reservation in education and employment.

Five years later, like the missing students, transgender teachers are missing from the Central Universities as well. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019, passed Rajya Sabha last week, is not likely to help change things as it has laid out a complicated process for declaring transgender identity. The Bill has been widely criticised by the community. A statement issued by the community after it was passed said: “It violates the NALSA judgment by framing a two-step process where transgender identity is first mandatorily granted by a District Magistrate with a requirement for surgery before one can change this to a binary gender marker.”

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