In a major gender reform, the Ministry of Home Affairs will soon allow induction of transgenders into paramilitary forces. In light of this, the Ministry is in consultations with central paramilitary forces, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
Last month, in a letter to inspectors general (personnel) of BSF, CRPF, ITBP, SSB and CISF, the MHA had sought comments regarding the proposed inclusion of 'third gender' as an option for applicants for the CAPF (assistant commandants) examination, 2020.
On July 1, the MHA had sent a reminder to the forces for a response, stating "the comments for incorporating the issues on transgender as the Third gender along with Male/Female in the rules of CAPF (Assistant Commandants) Examination, 2020 is yet to be received from CRPF, ITBP, SSB and CISF. They are once again requested to examine the issue and furnish comments to this Ministry by July 2 positively for taking a final view on the matter."
Following this, ITBP, SSB and CRPF sent their comments to the ministry, stating that as they follow the principle of "gender neutrality", they are ready to take transgenders as officers. However, officials on Saturday, July 4, told PTI that the CISF has sought more time to submit its response as it wants to "discuss the issue in detail" within the organisation, especially with its field commanders.
"Seeking more time for discussion, however, does not mean that the CISF is against the move. The force is committed to providing equal opportunities to everyone, irrespective of their gender," an official said.
While BSF, ITBP and SSB have informed the MHA that they are "ready to receive" transgender officers, the CRPF has said it will make their induction "compatible".
At present, there is no provision of hiring transgender people in the central paramilitary forces or the Indian Army.
The move is in line with the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, notified by the central government in December last year, under which no establishment shall discriminate against transgender persons in matters relating to employment, recruitment, promotion and other related issues.Also Read: COVID-19: Manipur Govt Sets Up Dedicated Quarantine Centres For Transgenders