New Delhi: In a progressive step towards inclusive education, the CPI(M)-led Kerala government has allotted two additional seats for transgender students in all universities and affiliated arts and science colleges across the state.
The order issued by the higher education department of the government comes after a recommendation by the social justice department seeking reservation for transgender students.
“The government is pleased to sanction two additional seats in all courses in Universities and affiliated Arts and Science colleges exclusively for admitting transgender students subject to fulfillment of qualification,” the circular issued by additional secretary MG Ranjith Kumar reads.
“Social Justice Department has recommended and forwarded the request for issuing special order for reserving seats for Transgender Students for various courses in Universities and affiliated Arts and Science Colleges,” the government order said.
“Due to societal issues, these students often have to discontinue their studies or to join other academic institutions after an academic year or after the admission process is closed.
“In the above circumstances, Government are pleased [to] sanction two additional seats in all courses in Universities and affiliated Arts and Science Colleges exclusively for admitting transgender students subject to the fulfillment of qualification,” the higher education department order says.
The order has been issued to the director of collegiate education and also to registrars of various state universities, including Kerala, Mahathma Gandhi, CUSAT, Calicut, Kannur, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit and Thunchathezhuthchan Malayalam Universities.
The decision has been welcomed by the transgender community in the state.
“Higher Education Department of Kerala issues a GO (government order) asking all Higher Educational Institutions in the state to reserve two seats, for all courses across colleges and Universities, for Transgender Students. A few transgender students, who had applied for various courses in Ernakulam Maharajas College, couldn’t get through the merit based admission process. They then approached the state Social Justice Department, which along with other departments initiated this major step towards inclusive education,” an organisation of the LGBTIQ community from Kerala posted on Facebook.