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Post at: Aug 13 2021

Karnataka has become the first state reservation for the ‘transgender’ community

Recent Context

  • Karnataka has become the first state in the country to provide one per cent reservation (Horizontal reservation) for the ‘transgender’ community in all the government services.
  • A notification had been issued (in July 2021) after amending the Rule 9 of the Karnataka Civil Service (General Recruitment) Rule, 1977 to enable reservation for transgender persons.

Amendment in Notification States

  • The notification specifies one per cent reservation in all general as well as reserve categories for the third gender.
  • Whenever a notification is published inviting applications for the government jobs, ‘others’ column must be added along with male and female columns.
  • The notification also underlines that there should not be any discrimination to the transgenders in the process of selection.
  • In case of non-availability of transgender candidates, the job could be given to male or female from the same category.

Background

  • The notification has been issued pursuant to a petition filed by Sangama, a society working for the upliftment of sexual minorities, sex workers and people infected with HIV.
  • The petition was filed to argue that the state in its appointment notification calls for filling up of the vacancies, specifies only 'Men' and 'Women' as the genders which can apply for the vacancies; throughout the impugned notification the age, weight, and other specifications are given pertaining separately only to 'Men' and 'Women', in total disregard of the 'Third Gender'.

Status of Transgenders in India

  • According to one estimate, India has about two million transgender people. Activists say these people live on the fringes of society, often in poverty, ostracised because of their gender identity.
  • Most make a living by singing and dancing or by begging and prostitution. They often face huge discrimination and have been forced to choose either male or female as their gender in most public spheres.

Conclusion

  • Reservations in the government jobs and other initiatives like this can provide a medium for the transgenders to assimilate them in the mainstream society.

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