With only one transgender applicant this year and no enrollments for regular courses since 2015, the University has had enough reminders to realise the plight of transgender students. DU Beat explores this decline.
University of Delhi (DU) receives the highest number of applications for various courses in the country, and this year was no different. The University received more than three lakh applications, though there was a decline from last year. 3,67,895 number of applications is no less a number, even as only 2,58,388 proceeded ahead and made payments. In all these applications, women yet again seemed to have become a majority, 84,021 female candidates and 68,457 male candidates applied to the University. Shockingly, only one transgender person has submitted an application this year as compared to last year, or 2017 when the university had 36 applications.
According to the data, the scheduled tribe category saw 4,044 male applicants and 3,056 female applicants. Over 17,000 male candidates and 16,000 female candidates had applied in the SC quota and about 32,926 male candidates and approximately 22,531 female candidates applied for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) non-creamy layer quota.
The newly introduced EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) that has a ten percent quota in the university admissions also had 5,528 male candidates and 3,562 female candidates. This year the varsity has increased its capacity to 62,000 number of seats. It has been stated that there would be a separate cut-off for the EWS category.
The fact that only one transgender student has applied is a huge warning to the varsity. There seems to be very liitle that the university has been able to do to make the college spaces safe for the transgender community. It seems that the stigma attached to the community has not yet gone away and a singular application speaks volumes in this regard. There have been cases of harassments faced by transgenders from other students and staff and that may have been the reason for this decline in approaching the university for admissions.
With incidents of transgender persons being asked, “Since when have you been a transgender person?” by the admission staff. Being subjected to derogatory remarks during the admissions, they tend to take up vocational courses and steer away from the University space.
Even though the TRC (Transgender Resource Centre), established in 2018 had come up with various outreach programs to bring more students to the University fold, they seem to have not yielded substantial results. These outreach programs had begun during the month of April this year.
Equal rights activist Harish Iyer said that he would be writing to the Chief Minister of Delhi about this issue. “If that one candidate seeks admission to a college of DU, the whole college and especially the teaching and the non-teaching staff have to ensure that the student feels at ease and accepted. The civil society has to come together to address the issue.” he stated.
According to officials, last year there were applications from transgender aspirants but no one enrolled for regular courses. The varsity had introduced the Other category in 2015, but there have been no admissions to the regular course under this category so far.
Rajesh from the Department of Adult Continuing Education and Extension said, “Around 15 transgender students had come to us with queries but they all had queries about School Of Open Learning and Indira Gandhi National Open University. They usually prefer to enrol as male or female in regular courses or for distance learning education.”
The University needs to gear up to make sure that more and more transgender students feel welcome in the college space. This year needs single registration needs to be a stern reminder for the same. It is all of us together who decide for us and others around us. Let us all try to accept each other and build a better future. Marks build your CV, not your character.
Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express
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