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March 22, 2018

Engineering, pharmacy CET application forms to have a ‘transgender’ category

Mumbai : For the first time, application forms for engineering and pharmacy common entrance test (CET) will have a column for ‘transgender’ in its gender categories.

The state’s directorate of technical education (DTE) decided to include the option in its application forms in order to comply with Supreme Court’s 2014 verdict recognizing transgenders as the third gender. The move will make it easier for transgender students, who are forced to identify themselves as either male or female, to pursue technical courses.

In its judgment, the SC had said that transgenders would be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category. The apex court had also observed that absence of law recognizing “hijraas” as third gender could not be continued as a ground to discriminate against them in availing equal opportunities in education and employment.

Following the verdict, the University of Mumbai (MU) had instructed affiliated colleges to introduce ‘transgender’ as third gender in its official forms from the 2015-16 academic year. The university had also instructed the colleges to provide counseling and other amenities to transgender students who often face stigma and abuse from their peers.

Last week, HT reported that the varsity has registered its first transgender student, who goes by her adopted name ‘Sridevi’. The 32-year-old is currently pursuing BA (psychology) at MU’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL).

Reacting to DTE’s decision, she said, “It’s definitely a good decision. While I was unable to follow my dream of pursuing medicine, I hope that the recognition will help transgender students to enroll in a career of their choice.”

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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