For the upliftment of the transgender community, IGNOU University has decided to give full fee waiver to the transgender candidates provided that they are able to provide an identity proof. The fee waiver is being given by the university on all programs.
“The competent authority is pleased to approve fee exemption in all programs 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 university said in a notification on June 29, signed by the Registrar of the Student Registration Division.
The university holds admissions twice a year for its programs and for the July session, admissions will close on July 31. Ravindra Singh, IGNOU vice-chancellor said that he is hoping that this move will encourage more transgender students to apply for the programs. Till now university has already received 100 applications from transgender students.
“An NGO approached our Regional Director in Delhi last year for enrolling transgenders into our programs, 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). We had anyway opened these gates for them fairly early,” he said.
The other gender category was introduced by the university in its admission form in 2012- before the community was officially recognized by the Supreme Court as a third gender in 2014. Kumar said that the decision was also taken by the university because of the demand form other centers such as Varanasi and Chennai for the concession in fee for the transgender students.
Kumar said the university is asking for document proof in order to keep the imposters away so that those who deserve will only get the benefit of the scheme. “There is a possibility that after hearing of the fee waiver, some people will declare themselves transgender. What mechanism will we have to check this? That's why we are asking for some proof to ascertain their gender,” he said.