Early last year, India's government began issuing new citizenship certificates recognizing transgender Indians (traditionally called hijras) as "third gender" citizens, and in April, India's Supreme Court also recognized transgender Indians as the "third gender." The influence of this recognition of the third gender community has trickled down through the University Grants Commission (UGC), and subsequently, Delhi University, which has recently added "transgender" as a gender marker option in its student and faculty application forms.
One transgender activist, Lakshminarayan Tripathi, said:
Most Indian universities say they never turn down admission requests from transgender candidates, but their forms did not have an option under the gender choices. We don't like making that choice…It is important for educational institutions to create space for them and make a start by mentioning 'others' or 'transgender' in their application forms. This is a great start.
The Telegraph of India reported that the "ministry of social justice and empowerment has been working to formulate a comprehensive scheme for [transgender people] covering all parameters laid down in the Supreme Court order and including the recommendations of an expert committee," which suggested that people belonging to the third gender "should be given access to health care and education at all levels without stigma or discrimination."