Transgender aspirants may not be admitted to women’s colleges

  • Shradha Chettri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2015 17:08 IST

The 66 transgender students, who have applied to Delhi University under the ‘other’ category this year, may not find place in a women’s

The university is still framing the policy for their admission. However, sources said that most officials were in favour of allowing them to take admission only in co-educational colleges. Out of the 61 colleges, for which undergraduate admissions are underway, 13 are women’s colleges.

A senior university official who was a part of the meeting said that considering various factors, it was decided that the transgender applicants would not be allowed to take admission in women’s colleges.

The lack of infrastructure in terms of the unisex washroom and other facilities for the people belonging to the category resulted in this policy decision, according to a source.

However, principals of women’s colleges say that such a policy is half-hearted and serves no purpose.

“The university has opened its doors for them but clearly needs to think properly on the policy. Such a half-hearted policy is not going to do any good. The decision to study in any college should be entirely of the individual and should not be dictated,” said Promodini Varma, principal, Bharti College.

Varma stressed that since the issue is about bringing inclusion in society, such a restriction is completely wrong.

Even transgender activists called this policy a direct discrimination and against the principle of equality.

“If a trans female student wants to study in a women’s college then why should the person not be allowed to do so. This entirely questions an individual’s identity. Educational institutions do not have a boundary of gender identity so why should such policies be made,” said Abhina Aher, a transgender activist.

Activists say that the Indian universities need to learn from their foreign counterparts and bring about the policy of inclusion.

Though the university is still not sure on how many students under this category would be admitted, but if the data is analysed there are 15 of them who have scored between 90 to 100 per cent.

In the 95 to 100 per cent bracket there are about 3 students, while between 90 to 95 per cent there are 12. This is the calculation of the best of five percentage, once the best of four is considered, the ones in 95-100 per cent bracket will increase. Similarly in the 80 to 90 per cent bracket, there are about 18 transgender students.

What foreign varsities do

# Activists say that Indian universities need to learn from their foreign counterparts and bring about policies of inclusion
# At Harvard, all issues like safety, accommodation, toilets and peer counselling have been taken care of
# For instance, unisex toilets have been provided on the campuses and information about their location is available on the website.
# The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) is also trained in BGLT issues
# Mount Holyoke Women’s College in Massachusetts has made it clear that any biologically born female who identifies herself as a woman, man or ‘other’ or a biologically born man identifying himself as a woman can apply for admission

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