In a monumental move, India has taken a step back Image: AFP
In a pathbreaking move, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has decided to waive fees for all courses for its transgender students. IGNOU vice chancellor Ravindra Kumar announced the move during the 22nd annual Prof G Ram Reddy Lecture recently. The candidates only need to provide basic identity proof, and they can be a part of any programme in the university. For free.
"The competent authority is pleased to approve fee exemption in all programmes for transgender candidates. Any certificate issued by the central/state government/medical officer/any other competent authority/ Aadhaar card, etc may be sought for the purpose," the university released a notification recently, which was by the Registrar of the Student Registration Division. The move is being hailed as a trailblazer for the Indian education system, and has been unanimously applauded.
Kumar also said that he hoped the move would encourage more transgender students to apply for their programmes, according to a The Indian Express report. Kumar, who made the announcement regarding the fee waiver during a lecture on Sunday, said the university had already received applications from around 100 transgenders.
IGNOU is not just the largets open university of India, but also one of the premium distant learning centres of the country. The free courses would make higher education a more accessible option for people from the transgender community, especially those who lack the means for it. You can find more details here.