India: Transwoman allowed to appear for UPSC exam in ‘other’ category

KOLKATA: Overcoming two years of legal hassle, 28-year-old Atri Kar will become the first transgender person from Bengal to take the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Though a Supreme Court decision in 2014 made it possible for transgender people to apply for education and employment under the ‘other’ category, the policy had not been implemented everywhere. After fighting at the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for two years, Kar got an interim order from the CAT’s Calcutta bench on February 27, allowing her to take the exam as an ‘other category’ candidate.

Kar, who is an English teacher at Ramnagar Primary School, had to fight a similar legal battle to be eligible for the West Bengal Civil Service Examination. “That had also continued for two years. When I took the examination this January, I was the first transgender from Bengal applying in the ‘other category’,” she said.

In 2017, when Kar first tried to fill up the UPSC forms, she was against applying under either the male or female category. “The order from the National Legal Services Authority in 2014 had clearly stated that transgender should be treated as the third gender and proper reservations should be extended to them. What is frustrating is that at every step, we still need to move court to be even enrol ourselves in the ‘other’ category,” Kar said. Read more via Times of India