The union home ministry has started the process for recruiting transgender people in paramilitary forces and has asked the various branches - ITBP, CRPF, CISF and SSB – under its ambit to share their views on the move.
A letter for starting recruitment at the level of officers was sent last month. On Wednesday, the MHA sent a reminder to forces after it received no response. At present, there is no provision of hiring transgender people in the central paramilitary forces or the Indian Army.
"The comments for incorporating the issues on transgenders as third gender along with male/female in the rules of CAPF (Central Armed Police Force) examination is yet to be received. Kindly examine the issue and furnish comments," an internal note from an MHA undersecretary to IGs (personnel) of CRPF, ITBP, SSB and CISF said.
The examination for assistant commandant level recruitment is likely to be held in December this year. Officials said the changes in the recruitment rules will have to be notified before that if this change comes through.
"This will be a policy decision. After taking views of the DGs of the forces, MHA is likely to ask DOPT to look into the issue of amending recruitment rules. A final decision will be at the political leadership level," an official with ITBP said.
A senior officer from CRPF said recruitment of transgender people won't create any problems at operations level. "Recruitment of women also began in force much later and now it is very common. If government wants to bring in the third gender it will be a step further," he said on request of anonymity since a final decision has not been taken.
The MHA note has given CAPFs 24 hours to furnish their view, but sources told CNN-News18 that forces are still finalising their response and it will be shared with MHA shortly.
The development comes after Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act came into effect from January this year.
"As per clause 14 of the Act, the appropriate Government shall formulate welfare schemes and programmes to facilitate and support livelihood for transgender persons including their vocational training and self-employment," minister of state for Social Justice and Empowerment Rattan Lal Kataria had stated in Lok Sabha.
The lawmaker also stated that during 2019-20, an amount of Rs 5 crore has been allocated for the welfare of transgender persons.
The minister has also stated that the transgender persons are entitled for all kinds of reservations such as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in cases of admission in educational institutions and for government jobs in their respective category.
Clause 9 of the Act states that no establishment can discriminate against any transgender person in any matter relating to employment or promotion.