The Indira Gandhi National Open University, India’s largest institute for open and distance learning, has decided to exempt transgender students from paying fees. To be eligible, candidates will have to submit a certificate from the central or state government, or a medical officer, or produce their Aadhaar cards.
The move will be formally announced at a lecture on July 2. The university had notified the decision on Thursday, and its student registration division has informed its regional centres.
Although university authorities were unable to share the number of transgender students currently enrolled at the IGNOU, Assistant Registrar in the Vice Chancellor’s Office Rakesh Sharma said a large number of them were taking admission at the institute this year. They will know the total number of students once admissions close in August.
The university had added the “other” gender category to their admission forms in 2012, long before the Supreme Court created the “third gender” status for the transgender community in 2014. More recently, the university’s centres in Kerala conducted a special orientation programme for the community.