For the first time in its history, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has reserved seats for transgenders.
The seats would be reserved under the Most Backward Class Category (MBC), TNAU Vice-Chancellor Prof K Ramasamy told reporters here, adding this is being done for the first time in the varsity’s history.
He said online application for 13 science and technology degree programmes in 14 constituent colleges and 18 affiliated private colleges across the state would open on May 12 and the last date for online application June 11.
The process of selection of candidates would begin with publication of the rank list on June 20. There were 2,600 seats in the programmes, with 1,220 in constituent colleges and 1,380 in affiliated colleges, with 65 per cent counselling and 35 per cent management quota, he said. Under special reservations, 18 seats are reserved for differently abled, including transgender and exservicemen, Ramasamy said.
The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) had its genesis from establishment of an Agricultural School at Saidapet, Madras, Tamil Nadu, as early as 1868 and it was later relocated at Coimbatore. In 1920 it was affiliated to Madras University and today it caters the needs of thousands of students through numerous programmes and courses.
Transgenders in India are often ignored and they are still fighting for many basic rights at many places. However, India has already recognised transgenders (Hijras) as a gender separate from men or women, making the country one of the few in the world to legally recognise a third gender.
On January 28, 2014 Supreme Court dismissed the review Petition filed by Central Government, NGO Naz Foundation and several others, against its December 11 verdict on Section 377 of IPC. In explaining the ruling the bench said: “While reading down Section 377, the High Court overlooked that a minuscule fraction of the country’s population constitutes lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgender people, and in the more than 150 years past, less than 200 persons have been prosecuted for committing offence under Section 377, and this cannot be made a sound basis for declaring that Section ultra vires Articles 14, 15 and 21.
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On December 18, 2015, Shashi Tharoor, a member of the Indian National Congress party, introduced the bill for the decriminalisation of Section 377, but the bill was rejected by the house by a vote of 71-24. However, Shashi Tahoor is planning to re-introduce the bill