A “co-ed institution” no longer means an institution that admits just boys and girls; from now on, it will include transgender students too.
The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has included this new definition for educational institutions in its 2017-18 approval process handbook, which prescribes norms and standards for grant of approvals to technical institutions. There are more than 3,000 registered engineering institutes under the AICTE.
Anil Sahasrabudhe, AICTE chairman, said the move will ensure each institution will make it easier for transgender students to pursue technical courses without any discrimination as they are forced to identify themselves as either male or female.
“This has to be followed by every institute,” he said.
“There was an earlier communication from the HRD ministry regarding this and we have now included this in the approval handbook so that every institute can maintain data separately. It will also ensure that transgender students don’t face any discrimination,” said a senior official.
In 2014, the Supreme Court 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.
All institutes will include this in their prospectus, forms and any other material that they publish. Institutes will also have to create a column and maintain the data of male, female and transgender students separately, officials said.
To address the issues and problems faced by the transgender community in higher educational institutions, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken several steps as well.
It had asked vice-chancellors of all the universities to include a column for transgender category in all application forms/academic testimonials and all other relevant documents processed by them as well as by their affiliated colleges.
The UGC had also asked universities to take other affirmative steps to ensure transgender students were adequately acclimatised without facing any fear.