Following a University Grants Commission (UGC) notification, the University of Mumbai (MU) has asked affiliated colleges to include transgender students as a separate category in its examination and admission forms from the academic year 2015-16.
The university has also asked the colleges to provide counselling facilities for transgender students and address concerns of these students within 24 hours through grievance cells in colleges.
The UGC notification (issued on July 2014) follows the April 2014 Supreme Court judgement that carved out an independent status for the third gender.
“It is essential to provide separate rest rooms to the students belonging to transgender community. Provision of counselling to transgender people and other students so as to enable them to assimilate as one student community will be a healthy practice for the varsity,” a recently issued MU circular stated.
“The decision will be implemented from the academic year 2015-16. We have asked all the colleges to include a separate column for transgender students in their admission forms. Also, colleges should develop a healthy atmosphere for such students. We will compile a database of such students after the coming admission process and come up with new schemes,” said Mrudul Nile, director, students’ welfare, MU.
Suhas Pednekar, principal, Ruia College, Matunga, said, “We will include special category for transgender students in admission forms and take required measures for their welfare. However, we have not received guidelines from the varsity regarding formation of counselling centres and grievance cells yet.”
The university had issued a circular on November 1, 2014, as reported by HT, to implement the UGC direction to include transgender students in a separate gender category.