The BJP-led Yediyurappa government in Karnataka on Tuesday (July 5) issued an order extending one per cent quota for transgenders in any service or post in all categories of employment to be filled through a direct recruitment process.
The internal reservation will be available for vacancies under each category of general merit, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and in each of the categories among the Other Backward Classes.
The amendment to Rule 9 of the Karnataka Civil Services (General Recruitment) Rules, 1977, also directs recruiting authorities to provide a separate column to allow applicants to identify as ‘others’, apart from male or female.
The state government said it will follow the definition of ‘transgender person’ as described in the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, of the Union Government. The act says a ‘transgender person’ is one whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to them at birth, and includes transman or transwoman, a person with intersex variations, genderqueer and those who have socio-cultural identities such as kinnar, hijra, aravani and jogta.
“In all direct recruitment, one percentage of vacancies set apart for that method in each of the categories of General Merit, SC, ST and in each of the categories among Other Backward Classes, subject to any general instruction that may be issued regarding the manner of appointment, be filled from among transgender candidates,” the amendment read.
The government had last month submitted a draft notification to the Karnataka High Court during the hearing of a PIL filed by a non-profit organisation, Sangama, which works for the welfare of the transgender community and activist Nisha Gulur.
The rules also specify that if sufficient eligible transgender people are not available in the 1 per cent category, vacancies should be filled by male or female candidates from the same category.
On February 3, the government told Parliament the Centre was working on a scheme to ensure access to health, education and livelihood for transgender persons, but there was no proposal to enforce reservations for the community.
The response by Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot was to a question by Congress MP Revanth Reddy. The Centre’s response came almost a year after the government enacted the transgender rights Act.
In its response, the government said the Transgender Persons (Protection Of Rights) Act 2019 and rules under the legislation mandated the Central and state governments to take up schemes that address access to health, education, welfare, shelter and economic support for livelihoods.