DU officials, students may meet CBSE on trans rights issue

Delhi University (DU) officials and students may soon meet with officials of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to discuss the possibility of allowing transgender students to change names and gender in their educational records.
In response to a petition filed by a former transgender student seeking to change name and gender on education records, a bench had, on February 20, expressed displeasure with the CBSE and DU for declining her request.(Picture for representation)
In response to a petition filed by a former transgender student seeking to change name and gender on education records, a bench had, on February 20, expressed displeasure with the CBSE and DU for declining her request.(Picture for representation)
Published on Mar 01, 2019 02:49 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByFareeha Iftikhar

Delhi University (DU) officials and students may soon meet with officials of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to discuss the possibility of allowing transgender students to change names and gender in their educational records.

Rajesh, who goes by his first name, a professor of the department of adult continuing education and extension, said, “We will explore the possibility of changing names and gender on education records at school-level.”

In response to a petition filed by a former transgender student seeking to change name and gender on education records, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao had, on February 20, expressed displeasure with the CBSE and DU for declining her request.

The bench had said when the Supreme Court has recognised people’s right to declare their gender identity, statutory bodies like the education board and the varsity “have to rise to the occasion”. Last year, the CBSE had notified that a student’s name change would only be permitted before school results are published.

A member of the university’s admission committee said the university should have some mechanism to address the transgender person-related issues. “But largely, we depend on the CBSE documents because 80% of our applicants are from there. We probably will sit with the board officials soon and find out what can be done,” the member said.

No transgender student has been enrolled under a regular course in the Delhi University since it introduced the third gender category in the admission forms in 2015. The university had received 101 applications in the category for admission in 2018-19—the highest in four years—but nobody finally turned up for admission.

The university had also set-up a “Transgender Resource Centre’ at north campus last April to provide higher education and career related counselling to the transgender students seeking admissions in its colleges. However, no transgender student has ever turned up there as of now.

Rajesh, who runs the centre, said, “In 2015, the university amended its change of name policy, stating it would only be possible to do so after the student affected a similar change in school records. We are going to approach the ministry of social empowerment soon.”

Dean of Students’ Welfare Rajiv Gupta said the authority is aware of the courts’ direction and looking for the options to “bring relief to transgender students”.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021