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Transgender persons to avail quota under existing categories only, Union govt tells SC

By LawStreet News Network      27 July, 2023 09:18 PM      0 Comments
Transgender persons to avail quota under existing categories only, Union govt tells SC

NEW DELHI: The Union government has apprised the Supreme Court that transgender persons can avail of quota benefits for jobs and education under the existing categories of Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) or Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) only.

In an affidavit, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said that the entire marginalised and eligible population of the country, including transgenders, is at present covered under any one of the four categories.

The government's response came as the Supreme Court in March this year issued a contempt notice to it on a plea contending non compliance to 2014 NALSA judgement, in which the top court had ordered the Centre and States to treat the transgenders as “socially and educationally backward classes and extend all kinds of reservation” in government jobs and higher education.

Clarifying its stand, the Centre said that there is no separate reservation for transgender persons in education or employment and that they can access such benefits if they belong to Scheduled Caste (SC) Scheduled Tribe (ST), Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC) or Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) communities.  

The benefits of reservation in matters of direct recruitment in central government services and in admission to central government higher educational institutions are as follows: SC- 15%; ST- 7.5%; SEBC - 27%; EWS - 10%, it said.

The government said, after the 2014 judgement, Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, for the welfare of transgender persons.

It listed several steps taken, including creation of a national portal for transgender persons on November 25, 2020, issuance of identity cards, after the 2014 judgement for upliftment of the transgenders and to ensure a dignified living for them.

The government also said a National Council for Transgender Persons has been constituted on August 21, 2020 to advise Government on policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons.

It said the government has issued an advisory to all Ministry/ Department for appointing a complaint officer to deal with the grievances relating to violation of the provisions of the Transgender Person (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

The government further said the Registrar General of India (RGI), during enumeration of census 2011, for the first time provided third category as 'Other' for enumeration.

"Thus, the category of 'other' would not only include 'transgender' but also any person who doesn't desire to record his/her sex. The population of 'Other' as per Census 2011 is 4,87,803, out of which 78,811 (16.16%) belong to the Schedule Castes (SC) and 33,293 (6.83%) belong to the Scheduled Tribes (ST). It is stated that the population details of the socially and Educationally Backward, (also called OBC) was not collected in 2011 census," it said.

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