IGNOU announces complete fee waiver to transgender students

IGNOU announces complete fee waiver to transgender students

IGNOU announces complete fee waiver to transgender students

Students belonging to transgender can pursue higher education free of cost by getting enrolled to the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

In a path breaking decision, the open varsity has announced to grant a complete fee waiver to such students for all programmes offered by it to promote higher education among those belonging to such category.

“The IGNOU, the world’s largest open university, has exempted the fees of transgender students for all its programmes,” Ravindra Kumar, who is vice chancellor in-charge of the varsity, said on Sunday.

He was addressing a function organised in the memory of the founding vice chancellor of the university G. Ram Reddy. Former vice chancellor of Kakatiya University, Telangana, Y Vaikuntham delivered the 22nd G Ram Reddy Memorial Lecture on ‘Education to the doorstep: from correspondence courses to distance and digital learning.’

“The competent authority is pleased to approve the fee exemption in all the programmes for transgender candidates. Regional centres may kindly note the above and give wide publicity for the benefit of transgender. Any certificate issued by the Central/ State Government/ Medical Officer/any other competent authority/ Aadhar card etc sought may be sought for the purpose,” the University said issuing a notification.

This comes about three years after the University Grants Commission (UGC) notified transgender as third gender following a Supreme Court verdict to enable them avail benefits of all the scholarship schemes and fellowship programmes offered to students of higher educational institutions.

It also issued a directive to all universities, saying such students will be entitled to avail befits of “all existing merit-based schemes and programmes” of the UGC.

In a landmark judgement in April 2014, the apex court accorded "third gender" status to transgenders, directing the Centre to treat them as socially and economically backwards. The court also held members of the third gender community should be given educational and employment reservation under Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

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