Assam Becomes the First State to Add ‘Transgender’ as Gender Option in Civil Service Examination

Assam Becomes the First State to Add ‘Transgender’
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Assam has become the first state in the country to add a ‘transgender’ option in the gender category of the civil service examination form. A total of 42 transgender persons have applied for the combined competitive (preliminary) examination (CCE), 2020, which is conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC). The examination is similar to the civil services examinations conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and selects candidates for state civil service, police and other allied services for the state.

As per a report in Hindustan Times, APSC chairman Pallab Bhattacharya said, “Initially we had not made a separate category for transgender persons when we issued notification for the exam in September. We were soon approached by a prominent transgender activist Swati Bidhan Baruah to include a separate category. We had a discussion with Baruah and also checked with UPSC where transgender persons are already allowed to apply in a separate category called other. The state government was apprised of the matter and a separate category was created,” he added.

The Commission had issued an addendum on September 15 to an earlier notice, to include transgender, for the first time, in the gender category for the Combined Competitive (Preliminary) Examinations 2020, APSC Chairman Pallav Bhattacharya said. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has already introduced the option in its recruitment process, and the APSC is probably the first state commission to do so, an official said. “We have received 42 applications in this category for recruitment to the posts of Assam Civil Services junior grade and other allied services,” Mr Bhattacharya said. Considering the social and economic status of the community in the state, applications by 42 transgenders is very good news, said Vice-Chairperson of the Assam State Transgender Welfare Board, Swati Bidhan Baruah. 83,251 applicants have submitted forms till the last day of submission on October 25.

Speaking to a local media website, Swati Bidhan Baruah appreciated the step taken by the state commission to uplift the transgender community. Swati Bidhan Baruah who is the associate vice-chairperson of the Assam State Transgender Welfare Board said, “It’s a much-welcomed development. But only doing so wouldn’t be of much help if special steps are not included. I have written to the Commission to secure reservation for the community and also provide special standard operating procedures (SOP) so that others do not misuse this provision.”

Written by Arnab Chanda

A 6’, aspiring Advocate, Arnab Chanda, hails from the plains of Assam, currently a 4 th year B.A.
L.L.B student at Sharda University. Being a fanatic Manchester United fan, foodie and a car
enthusiast, his leisure time mostly revolves around trying out new dishes, playing football and
reviewing cars, though he also enjoys to travel and to explore new places. He is a very hard-
working, punctual and sincere person who likes to give his best in everything that he does, but
does not miss a chance to use his humour to light up the mood of his surroundings and to
spread positivity. He’s a momma’s boy who soulfully respects his elders and wants to serve the
society for its welfare.

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