The Assam government has effected a milestone change in the state with the support of the Assam Public Service Commission. The state has given a separate gender category option for transgenders in the application form for exams, which is similar to civil service examinations conducted by UPSC.
The decision comes up when 42 transgender persons have applied for Combined Competitive Preliminary Exam (CCE) 2020 conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission. Some have applied for the posts of ACS junior grade and other allied state services.
"At first we didn't have a separate category for transgender persons while issuing notification for the exam in September. It was only after approaching and talking with Swati Bidhan Baruah, a prominent transgender activist we had decided to initiate a new category for transgenders. We had a detailed talk with Swati and state government regarding the inclusion of new category," said Pallab Bhattacharya, Chairman of APSC, in a press meet.
Debika, an LGBTQ activist from Assam, spoke appreciatively of the move to Madhyamam. "The new initiative taken by the Assam government is appreciable.many students drop out from colleges because of compulsory implementation of uniform, lack of toilet availing facility, bullying that happens in schools by teachers and by fellow students, no state implementation has taken to avoid such discriminations or violence in the state," she said.
While the new addition is a step in the right direction, Debika feels that not enough attention is paid to the abuse and discrimination that the transgender population faces in homes, schools and workplaces.
"Some of us will also have time to enrol themselves and be a part of policy law changes in the country. This will uplift the entire community. This law is helpful and for sure there are lot of cons and I believe if the government comes and discuss that with the people from LBGTQ community, like what forms of other demands we want, then I am sure it will be a very good approach," she further adds.
Swati Bidhan Baruah, associate vice-chairperson of the Assam State Transgender Welfare Board appreciated the Assam government's new decision.