Kerala removes upper age limit for transgenders seeking admission in State universities
The decision to remove age limit is expected to encourage transgenders to pursue higher education
The Kerala government has removed the upper age limit for transgender students seeking admission to various courses in the State universities and its affiliated arts and science colleges.
“The State universities shall make necessary changes in their statutes to incorporate the provision removing the upper and lower age limit for transgender students,” according to an order issued by the Department of Higher Education.
The decision to relax the upper age limit is expected to encourage transgenders in the State to pursue various undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The government had sanctioned two seats exclusively for transpersons in all courses run by universities and affiliated arts and science colleges in the State in 2018 aimed at empowering the transgender community.
Subsequently, the State universities were directed to adopt a transgender policy to address the academic and other issues faced by the transgender students. However, the upper age limit in the universities for admission to the various courses had acted as a deterrent for admitting more transgender students.
The universities had requested the government to relax the upper age limit for transgender students. The government had sought the views of the Kerala State Higher Education Council and the universities on formulating general guidelines on relaxation in the upper age limit for transgender candidates for admission to the higher education institutions.
The council had recommended relaxations for all the categories, including transgender students in all State universities and its affiliated arts and science colleges.
Kerala was the first State in the country to announce a transgender policy in 2015. A survey by the Department of Social Justice had found that the transgender students have to discontinue their studies often due to societal issues.
The State Transgender Justice Board had pointed out that it was tough for the transgender students to secure admission in universities and colleges, especially after their gender identity becomes public knowledge.