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Reservation for Transgender in India

Published: 7th Mar, 2022


The Delhi High Court last week issued a notice to the Delhi government on a plea seeking reservation for transgender people in all public appointments in the NCT of Delhi.

  • In India, the trans-population makes up a total of 4.88 lakh, as per the 2011 census


Reservation in India

  • Reservation in India is provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at the rate of 15%, 7.5% and 27%, respectively, in case of direct recruitment on all India basis by open competition.
  • In direct recruitment on all India basis, other than by open competition, the percentage fixed is 16.66% for SCs, 7.5% for STs and 25.84% for OBCs 10% reservation under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category applies to those not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, and the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes.

Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019

  • The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019 passed by Parliament enables the State (i.e., both the Central and State Governments) to provide reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the society.
  • Whether or not to provide reservation to the EWS of the society for appointment in State Government jobs and admission to State Government educational institutions, as per provisions of the newly inserted Articles 15(6) and 16(6) of the Constitution, is to be decided by the State Government.

Constitutional provisions for Reservation of Transgender

  • Currently, Karnataka is the only state that provides 1% horizontal reservation for transgender people.
  • The reservation of 1% is available in each category – general, SC, ST, and in each of the categories under ‘OBC’. 

In the landmark 2014 judgment by the Supreme Court in NALSA vs Union of India, the SC had recognised the constitutional rights of equality, liberty, and dignity for transgender persons and had directed the Union and state governments to take steps to treat transgender people “as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and extend all kinds of reservations in cases of admission in educational institutions and for public appointments”.

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