Although colleges under University of Mumbai (MU) are making their campus friendlier for the third gender, they are yet to get students from the community.
Following orders from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the MU had made it clear to all its affiliated colleges that their admission forms will henceforth incorporate ‘others’ (for transgenders) under the gender category along with male and female.
Statistics made available by the MU shows that in the academic year 2014-15, seven students had applied to five colleges under the ‘others’ category. But, none of them took admission.
In the academic year 2015-16, not a single application was received under the category. “We had received applications under the new category and accordingly their applications were forwarded for admission, but I don’t believe they took admission,” said a spokesperson for MES Pillai HOC College of Arts, Commerce and Science in New Panvel.
He added that the college has conducted several workshops for the staff members and students to sensitise them towards the third gender.
The Supreme Court in its judgment dated April 15, 2014, had asked the Centre to treat transgenders as socially and economically backward and that they be allowed admission in educational institutions and given employment on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category. In August 2014, the UGC opened all its scholarships to people from the third gender and requested universities to make similar changes to their admissions process.
The 5 colleges that received applications under the ‘others’ category in 2014-15 are DG Ruparel College and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) in Matunga, MES Pillai HOC College of Arts, Commerce and Science in New Panvel, SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Sion and MPSS’s Anandibai Raorane College of Arts and Commerce in Sindhudurg district. “We checked and re-checked our records but couldn’t find the applicants,” said Tushar Desai, principal of DG Ruparel College.
Principal of SIES College, Harsha Mehta, said that even if students did apply under ‘others’ category, they might not have gotten through if they had scored low marks.