NEW DELHI: Jadavpur University in West Bengal has joined the not very long list of educational institutions that have recognised the ‘third gender’ in their admission forms as a category in itself.

This had been discussed by the West Bengal Universities with the state education department, but while others were still mulling the issue Jadavpur University has taken the lead to implement the proposal.

The change will be effective from this academic year onwards. For now only Arts Faculty admission forms will have the ‘third gender’ option.

The Registrar of the University P K Ghosh told reporters, ““Admissions to the Arts Faculty begins now, so we have taken up this initiative for the Arts Faculty. We will gradually implement it across all the other Faculties,”

The Transgender community has faced considerable exploitation and remain ostracized from many educational institutions. They are faced with poor employment options and most of them are reduced to begging in the want of proper education and social acceptance.

The decision by the University fits well with the series of incremental gains being made lately in alleviating the problems faced by the ‘third gender’ in the education sector. After the Supreme Court ruling last year that recognised “transgenders” as the “third sex”, quite a few educational institutes have opened their gates for them.

Delhi University became one of the first ones to implement the UGC guideline to recognize transgenders in admission forms, which came following the Apex court’s decision. Ferguson College, Pune, soon followed the suit.

However, Bangalore University had set the track ablaze four years prior to the Court’s ruling. In 2010, the University had reserved one seat out of 60 seats in all its courses for transgender candidates, and added the option ‘TG’ for transgenders, apart from regular ‘M’ and ‘F’ for male and female.

The Supreme Court decision had also stipulated that the transgender community be treated on par with that of OBCs, entitling them to scholarships and reservation schemes as well.