MHA seeks CAPFs views on recruiting ‘transgender’ assistant commandants
The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has broken the glass ceiling in the 10-lakh-strong central paramilitary forces and asked the authorities concerned to share their views for recruiting transgender people in the rank of the assistant commandants (ACs).
In a letter to Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the MHA on Wednesday asked the forces to send their comments for incorporating the issues on transgender as ‘third gender’ along with male/female in the rules of CAPF (central armed police forces) AC Examination, 2020.
The annual examination for recruiting ACs, who are Grade A officers, for this year, is scheduled to be held in December and if the MHA gets a positive response from the paramilitary forces, their comments will be shared with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which will then incorporate transgender people as the third gender in the application forms.
MHA data showed 7,859 ACs are currently employed with all the paramilitary forces. The CRPF has maximum ACs in its ranks at 3,054, followed by BSF (1,888), ITBP (716) ITBP, CISF (725) and SSB (542).
The paramilitary forces, which have a combined strength of around 10 lakh, are deployed in securing the country’s borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Nepal, anti-Naxal operations, counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir as well as law and order duties in various states.
Officials familiar with the development said the government first wants to start with the officers’ rank through the Staff Service Commission (SSC).
At present, there is no provision of hiring transgender people in the central paramilitary forces or even in the Indian Army.
The development comes after Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 last December.
The law states that no establishment shall discriminate against transgender persons in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion, and other related issues. It also provides for grievance redressal mechanism in each establishment and the establishment of a National Council for Transgender Persons.
Based on the new Act, on April 20, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had asked all central government departments to include “transgender” as a separate category of gender for recruitment in civil services and other posts.
The DoPT order said that the matter regarding the inclusion of “Third Gender/any Other Category” in the application forms in recruitment to various posts under the central government was under consideration of the government for quite some time.
The Civil services examination rules, 2020, have already been notified on February 5, providing for inclusion of ‘Transgender’ as a separate category of gender for the said examination.
“All ministries/departments of the government of India are requested to modify the relevant examination rules providing for inclusion of ‘Transgender’ as a separate category of gender, so as to make the said Rules in conformity with the provisions of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019,” DoPT order had said.
K Durga Prasad, former director-general (D-G), CRPF, said: “This is the time of giving equal opportunities. We have to take care of is setting different parameters like training, job profile, etc”.
Chayanika Shah, a queer rights activist, asked: “We are creating a category and you remain in that category forever. But, the big question is: how do you deal with the situation? Why recruit only for the post of ACs and not other categories?”