Transgender students in the country can now enrol into all courses provided by The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) with a full fee waiver. All the students will have to do is submit their valid identity proofs.
According to a report by Indian Express, a notification signed by the Registrar of the Student Registration Division, said,
"The competent authority is pleased to approve fee exemption in all programmes for transgender candidates. Any certificate issued by the Central/State government/medical officer/any other competent authority/Aadhaar card etc., may be sought for the purpose."
The largest open university in the country, IGNOU offers more than 200 programmes to over 30 lakh students. This move by the university will directly benefit well over than 4,000 transgender students who missed out on decent job opportunities because they did not have a sound educational background.
According to Hindustan Times, the open university holds a lecture on July 2 every year, in the memory of the founding Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. G Ram Reddy. It invites eminent educationists and scholars to deliver lectures on higher education, especially in the open and distance learning domain.
The University has already received more than 100 applications from various transgender students. Speaking with Indian Express, Vice Chancellor of the University Ravindra Kumar said,
"An NGO approached our Regional Director in Delhi last year for enrolling transgenders into our programmes, to give them some sense of respect. Once they take to some course in IGNOU, they feel elevated and slightly better because of their social status. If they take to education, their lot will improve substantially. So once the officials approached us, we welcomed (the idea)."