Maharashtra State Policy 2024: Guidelines issued for the welfare of Transgender students – Times of India | IIT EXPERT

Mumbai: In an effort to make college campuses more inclusive, the state govt, for the first time has come out with detailed guidelines for transgender students. Initiating action against colleges for refusing admissions on the basis of gender, reserving a section in hostels for transgender students and establishing cells to address issues of discrimination, mental harassment, sexual exploitation or any other violence against them, are some of the guidelines enlisted in the govt resolution (GR) on Friday.The GR, issued by the higher and technical education department, has come close on the heels of the govt’s first-ever policy for transgender individuals approved by the cabinet earlier this week.
In December last year, the department had asked colleges and universities to offer free-of-cost education to transgender students and bear their entire tuition fees. Institutions have been asked to strictly follow the fee waiver policy in the new guidelines. These are in line with the National Education Policy 2020, that speaks about making campuses inclusive for all students. A govt official said that the department’s policy was ready and since the state came out with its overarching policy, they also decided to release specific guidelines for higher education institutions.
To cater to the needs of all transgender students, colleges are expected to appoint coordinators to provide counselling, academic guidance and career advice. All non-agricultural universities, private and deemed universities and affiliated colleges in the state are expected to strictly follow the provisions of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, stated the guidelines. Institutions need to adopt an inclusive policy to tackle issues of gender bias, negligence and segregation based on sexuality, it added. To ensure equal opportunities for these students and to integrate them fully into social life, institutions should organise awareness activities for both students and the teaching/non-teaching staff. Further the guidelines also make it mandatory for institutions to include transgender students in academic, cultural and sports activities.

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