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    Transgenders In The Indian Reservation System – Know Rights

    1% Horizontal Reservation under Landmark Judgement of Sangama vs The State of Karnataka; by Karnataka High Court for Transgender Persons. Know the difference between Horizontal & Vertical Reservation in this article by Ayushi Thakral, Content Team Intern at Legal Thirst.

    1% Horizontal Reservation under Landmark Judgement of Sangama vs The State of Karnataka; by Karnataka High Court for Transgender Persons. Know the difference between Horizontal & Vertical Reservation in this article by Ayushi Thakral, Content Team Intern at Legal Thirst.


    Indian society has been very stereotypical when it comes to transgenders and their rights. These perceptions are ingrained in the minds of people from the very beginning. While both the genders are treated equally, but, when it comes to the notion of transgenders, it is skewed. India is a diverse country and with such diversity comes great responsibility that is the responsibility of diverse sections of the society.

    The Government of India has taken a few steps to recognize its position in society but in a very dawdled manner. This is a stark reminder of the fact that people need to be more erudite and learned about them. The introduction of reservation policies for transgenders is an excellent step to uplift them; and bring them on the same footing with other genders. This will not bereave them of opportunities and will help them in accomplishing their future goals.

    Reservation Policies by The Government of India

    A very recent decision by the Karnataka government upon adhering to the case of Sangama vs The State of Karnataka (Link) by the division bench of the Karnataka high court of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Suraj Govindaraj; was that it reserved 1% for transgender persons in any post or service in all categories of employment to be filled through the direct recruitment process. The reservation of 1% will be available in each category of general merit, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and in each category of among the other backward classes. Rule 9 of the Karnataka Civil Services (General Recruitment) Rules, 1977, has been amended to enable reservation for transgender persons [1].

    1% Horizontal Reservation for Transgender Persons

    So, Karnataka became India’s first state to provide reservations for the ‘transgender’ community in all government services. In a very recent judgement in the case of National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India the apex court recognized transgender persons as the “third gender” and said they should be treated as “socially and economically backward classes”. The judgement also emphasized the fact that transgender persons should be provided with “reservation benefits” in educational institutions and public appointments.

    Following this very judgement, the center moved a cabinet note to include them in the category of Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and following this, they will be provided with reservation benefits of 27% in government institutions.

    But Vertical Reservation system raises three issues as under: –
    1. Those who belong to SC/ST categories would not be able to claim their right to reservation under both SC/ST and transgender, despite belonging to both communities. Those belonging to the OBC category would not gain anything.
    2. Transgender persons would have to compete with other OBCs (which has led to very few availing reservations in Tamil Nadu).
    3. Only one group of castes could dominate transgender without reservations without accounting for caste.[2] 

    But some states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala have come up with the idea of implementing a Horizontal Reservation system. This means that they provide separate reservations to transgender communities other than SC/ST/OBC category. The idea of implementing horizontal reservations mushrooms greater equality and uniformity in the society which is why it is supported by a large section of the society.

    What More Steps Can Be Taken?

    Indian society needs to cover an extra mile when it comes to allaying issues related to the transgender or intersex community. Providing reservations by only a few states means that people still have not recognized them and display a nonchalant attitude. School students should be made aware of who transgenders are and; what is the reason behind them being different from normal human beings?

    This kind of information should be provided at a very early age and from their parents only at first. Campaigns, awareness drives are also playing an important role. Transgenders should be provided with counseling sessions too so that they can overcome the trauma they face. Usage of filthy words for them creates a deep impact on their minds too. Job opportunities should be provided to them on equal footing as of men and women; so that they are not dependent on other people


    It is very common to notice a covey of people making fun of this particular community. This lucid exposition shows how much our society needs to work. The major aspect to eradicate this is to work on people’s minds; so that they can think of the matter at a psychological level and understand what one goes through. The whole conspectus of the above article shows how changes are taking place and how more changes should take place.

    Role of Government

    Though the government is working very hard it is the prime duty of the citizens of India to spot the loopholes and work on them collectively. It is very true that until governments around the world recognize that trans rights are human rights; and enact laws that reflect this unalienable truth, the battle for equality is far from over. Many countries across the world are working on this grave issue like the US, UK, Scandinavian countries- along with Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Ireland, and Uruguay. This problem will have an end too but the only need of the hour is to work hard; ensure as much awareness as possible.

    2. ibid

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views in the articles and research papers published on this website; are personal and independent opinions of the author. The website is not responsible for them.

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