Transgenders hail reservation in Bangalore varsity courses

Last Updated 27 July 2010, 12:55 IST

"I have received a number of congratulatory messages from transgenders and NGOs for the decision," Bangalore University (BU) Vice-Chancellor N. Prabhu Dev told IANS.

"BU is the first in the country to reserve a seat in post-graduate courses for transgenders," Dev said. The varsity academic council on Monday took the decision to reserve one seat for transgenders in all the 52 post-graduate courses it offers from the academic year starting this October.

Though the varsity application form for 2009-10 had a column 'others' apart from 'male' and 'female', there was no reservation of the seats for the transgenders, he said.

On the number of transgenders expected to enroll, Dev said: "This year, the numbers may not be big. But I do expect candidates for all the courses in the coming years."

He said many transgenders were studying in undergraduate courses by declaring themselves either as male or female.

 "I am thrilled that our identity has been recognized and I will apply for my post graduation in English," said Mangala, a transgender. "We are happy that the vice-chancellor has announced that separate rest rooms will be provided for us and warned of strict action against those ragging/harassing us," Mangala said.

Dev said provisions of anti-ragging laws will be used to punish students found ragging the transgenders attending post-graduate courses. If the transgender students need counselling, help will be taken from the varsity's psychology department, the vice chancellor said

He said he would write to the state government to consider reserving seats for  transgenders at the under-graduate level also. "We do not have any authority over the admission to undergraduate courses of colleges affiliated to our university. But we will be writing to the government to consider reserving seats for transgenders in undergraduate courses also," Dev said.

The Bangalore-based National Law School of India University plans to include 'others' in its application for admission from the next academic year, according to its vice chancellor R. Venkata Rao.

(Published 27 July 2010, 12:55 IST)

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