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NLSIU fights for rights of the third gender

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The Times of India has reported on the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) including an ‘Others’ category for transgenders in application forms from the next academic year.

NLSIU vice-chancellor Prof R. Venkata Rao told the publication that this was an important move in the area of human rights. “During interaction with transgenders, they pointed out that in application forms, it was always Male or Female in the gender category but there’s no mention of Transgenders or Others. This got us thinking.”

While Karnataka is waking up to this idea, the University of Mumbai was way ahead of the others. It allows transgenders to join any course they want. Most are enrolled in distance learning programmes for the Commerce stream. “The objective is access to all,” said the university’s deputy registrar A.Rathod. Tamil Nadu is the first state in the country to accord official status to the third sex.