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Transgenders to enjoy reservations soon? Govt likely to categorise the ‘third gender’ as OBCs

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has moved a Cabinet note for the inclusion of transgenders in the OBC category.

The transgender community in India will soon be able to enjoy the benefit of reservations in the country. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has moved a Cabinet note for their inclusion in the OBC category, The Economic Times has reported.

The report cited sources saying that an amendment has been moved to include transgenders in the OBC category, thereby making them eligible for the 27% reservation in educational institutions and government jobs that is available to OBCs. Currently, 25 castes are also awaiting inclusion in the central OBC list.

The inclusion will require the assent of the Parliament. The report quotes one unnamed senior government official as saying, “The inclusion will need parliamentary approval. After the Cabinet nod, the government will move an amendment to the presidential order, which will then go to Parliament. After this the inclusions will be done.”

The Supreme Court had paved the path for transgender reservations after recognising them as the “third gender” in the National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India case, who should receive benefits of reservations in educational institutions and jobs.

The Supreme Court judgment had instructed Central and state governments to treat the transgender community “as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservation in admission to educational institutions and in public appointments”. “It is the right of every human being to choose their gender,” the Court said.

There has been speculation since last year itself about the possible inclusion of transgenders in the OBC category. In November, The ET had reported that the education ministry was exploring ways to award them reservations in higher educational institutions.

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