Turning the spotlight on Civil Services exam notification, the Delhi high court has urged both the Centre and the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) to respond on a plea that sought the quashing of the notice for not including transgenders as the third gender option in application form for the civil services preliminary exam.
A division bench of Justices Mukta Gupta and P.S. Teji on Monday has instructed both the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the UPSC to reply by June 17. It may be noted that the last date for the receipt of application forms for the preliminary exam in June 19.
The Supreme Court has already declared transgenders as third gender and the bench wanted to know why the government has not included this gender category in its civil services exam notification.
In a landmark verdict that kicked off heated debate across the country, the Supreme Court had in April 2014 created third gender status for the hijras or transgenders. Before this verdict, the transgenders were compelled to write either male or female for the gender option.
Moreover, the top court has directed the Centre to give social and economically-backward status to transgenders which would enable them to avail welfare benefits as part of its guidelines to uplift them from their present status in the society
After the SC ruling, the transgenders were allowed admission in educational institutions and given jobs too on the basis that they belonged to the third gender category.
The write plea filed by lawyer Jamshad Ansari sought the inclusion of transgenders as part of eligibility criteria or provides the third gender option on the online application forms for the civil services exam. He said this would benefit the transgender who are excluded from public employment till now and suffer from a range of social and economic backwardness.
Due to the non-availability of the third gender option in the exam notification had led to transgenders not able to apply for preliminary exam for civil services scheduled to be held on August 23.