The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), world’s largest open university, has announced fee waiver for transgender people applying for its courses. The fee exemption was announced via a notification issued on 29th June urging all Regional Centres of IGNOU to give wide publicity for the benefit of Transgender candidates.
Talking to Gaylaxy, Dr. Himadri Roy, Programme co-ordinator of PG Diploma in Women’s and Gender Studies (Distance Mode), said that the process began with community consultation that started way back in March. “On 8th March, which is celebrated as International Women’s Day, we thought of inviting a transgender person from grassroots and had Rudrani Chettri come and talk about the issues faced by the trans community. After listening to her, Dr. Neeta Kapai, regional director of Delhi took the initiative,” Dr. Roy told.
There were consultation with other organisations working with transgender community as well before the final announcement happened. The last day to apply for IGNOU courses is July 31st. IGNOU vice-chancellor Ravindra Kumar told Indian Express that he hoped the move would encourage more transgender students to apply for their programmes and said the university had already received applications from around 100 transgenders.