In a step forward to ensure gender inclusivity in university campus, the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has introduced an option of 'third gender' in the nomination forms of students' union elections to be held on September 12.
In a notification issued yesterday, JNU Students' Union Election Committee said, "The Election Committee is going to introduce option of third gender as 'OTHER' in the nomination form of the JNUSU elections 2014-15." The move comes after the Supreme Court had acknowledged transgenders as the 'third gender' earlier this year after which Delhi University introduced space for third gender in application forms for post graduate courses.
"After the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, this is for the first time that an election committee has introduced the option of 'other' in nomination forms," Dileep Kumar Maurya, chairperson of the election committee told PTI.
However, JNU is yet to introduce the 'other' category in its admission forms and this move may further the process of introducing the option in admission forms as well.
Last week, the university's Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) had written an application to the JNUSU election committee to include the 'other' category in nomination forms. "The GSCASH had written an application to the EC last Thursday and they have complied to our request. This is a positive step," said Sonam Goyal, a PhD student and one of the student representatives of GSCASH.
The move was also welcomed by ultra-left All India Students Association (AISA), which had swept JNUSU elections last year, winning all top four positions of President, Vice-President, General Secretary and Joint Secretary. "This is the first time an official form of JNU has the 'other' category. We appreciate this attempt of the EC which is a step forward," said Sucheta De, National President, AISA.