The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has asked the Central Armed Reserve Forces (CAPF) to share its opinion on recruiting transgender people for the post of assistant commandants.
The home ministry wrote a letter on Wednesday (July 1) to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), seeking their views on the inclusion of ‘transgender’ as the third gender category in the norms of the CAPF AC Examination 2020, along with male and female.
The annual examination for recruiting assistant commandants, who are Grade A officers, is scheduled to be held in December this year.
If the home ministry receives approval from the paramilitary forces, their views will be shared with the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which will then take the decision to incorporate transgender people as the third gender in the application forms.
According to data provided by the MHA, there are 7,859 assistant commandants currently employed by all the paramilitary forces. The CRPF has the highest number of ACs with 3,054 officers in its ranks, followed by the BSF at 1,888, ITBP at 716, CISF at 725, and SSB with 542 assistant commandants.
There has been no provision so far to recruit transgender people in the central paramilitary forces or even in the Indian Army.
This suggestion came after the Parliament passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 in December 2019.
According to Hindustan Times, the Act stated that no establishment shall discriminate against transgender persons in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion, and other related issues.
It also guarantees a grievance redressal mechanism in each firm and the establishment of a National Council for Transgender Persons.
Following the introduction of the Transgender Persons Act, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on April 20 asked all central government departments to include “transgender” as a separate gender for recruitment in civil services and other posts.
However, Hindustan Times quoted Chayanika Shah, a queer rights activist, as saying, “We are creating a category and you remain in that category forever. But, the big question is: how do you deal with the situation? Why recruit only for the post of ACs and not other categories?”