[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Union Human Resource Development Minister on December 2, 2019 informed the Lok Sabha that no Transgender student is studying in Central Universities except Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) where a total of 814 Transgender students have been enrolled during the last 5 years.
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ added that there is no Transgender Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff in various Central Universities of the country.
There are 41 Central Universities functioning in the country.
University Grants Commission (UGC), according to information shared by the HRD Minister in the Parliament, has taken following actions to ensure increase in participation of the transgender communities in the higher education:
The forms/proforma of all the schemes being operated by UGC to have a column for the Transgender in gender category.
UGC has communicated to Universities from time to time:
a) to include a column for Transgender category in all application forms/academic testimonial and all other relevant documents processed by them and as well as their affiliated colleges;
b) to include Transgender as a third gender under the various scholarships/fellowships schemes of UGC;
c) to take other affirmative action to get the transgender students adequately acclimatized without facing fear, stigma or shame;
d) to encourage the faculty members to undertake major research projects funded by the UGC on the life and culture of the Transgender community; e) to chalk out an action plan for the issues pertaining to transgender persons
Parliament on November 26, 2019 passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 which provides for inclusive education and non-discrimination in education and employment. However, the said Bill does not provide for any reservation for transgender persons in employment and admissions even though the Supreme Court in NALSA way back in 2014 had directed the Centre and the State Governments to take steps to treat transgender persons as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.