Panjab University (PU) introduced the third gender option across its application forms, becoming the first university in the region to do so. The University also promises to build transgender friendly infrastructure such as toilets in its campus soon.
The move follows a notification by the University Grants Commission asking all educational institutions in India to include ‘third gender’ as an option for admission of students to their courses. The UGC had also asked universities to initiate affirmative actions to ensure that the human rights of transgenders are safeguarded and their mainstreaming into the society and university is fast-tracked. In April 2014, the Supreme Court of India had said that transgender people should be allowed admission and jobs based on their third gender status, and be considered for reservation under the OBC quota.
Following the Supreme Court verdict, many premier colleges and universities in India have introduced the third gender option for students, a few notable names being the Indian Institutes of Management, Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Mumbai University, Ferguson College Pune, Madras Christian College and Gujarat University. Bangalore University had introduced an option for transgender people in its application forms as early as 2010. Many other universities and colleges are expected to follow suit for the 2015-16 academic session.
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