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India universities told to recognize transgender students

India universities told to recognize transgender students

India’s University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to all universities in the country asking them to recognize transgender students.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla said universities have been requested to include a transgender category on all application forms, academic testimonials and other relevant documents.

The minister said the instructions were issued in response to a landmark 2014 judgment that recognized transgender people as third sex.

Currently transgender students at most Indian universities are still forced to register as either male or female.

Delhi University was the first institution to add a transgender column to its application forms in August last year. Mumbai university followed in January.

The UGC has also informed all its bureaus to ensure that forms for all its schemes have a transgender column.

In Februrary, the commission sent a letter to all university vice-chancellors  transgender asking them to ensure transgender students were made to feel at home.

‘The transgender community is a distinct cultural identity and unique on the socio-cultural map of the country. It is to be admitted that much remains to be done in order to ameliorate the discrimination and deprivation suffered by the community in Indian society,’ it read.