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Current Affairs 2023

Trans Reservation in Government Jobs

Activists Demand Horizontal Reservation for Employment and Education Rights Short Description: Activists across India are demanding horizontal reservation for transgender people in government jobs and education, citing the NALSA judgement of 2014 and the Transgender Persons Act, 2019. Despite provisions of the Act protecting rights of trans people, activists are still facing discrimination in private organisations.

Mar 30, 2023

4 min read

The clamour for horizontal reservation for transgender people in government jobs and education is growing across India, even as the Union Government recently told the Rajya Sabha that it is not considering any proposal to provide suitable jobs to transgender people in government organisations. Despite provisions of the Transgender Persons Act, 2019 protecting rights of trans people, activists working in this sphere have repeatedly maintained that neither the NALSA judgement of 2014, which recognised “transgender” as a third gender, nor the 2019 Act have helped change the way society perceives and treats trans people.


Jane Kaushik, a 28-year-old transwoman in Delhi has also approached the Delhi High Court seeking horizontal reservation in Delhi Government jobs, noting that she was unable to apply as a transgender person. She also cited the NALSA judgement, which clearly directed the Union Government and State Governments to consider providing reservation to trans persons.


Trans activists from across the country have recently decided to hold a protest march on April 14 in Delhi to demand horizontal reservation for transgender people in employment and education. The activists are hoping that by taking a collective stand, the government will finally be forced to take note of their demands and provide them with the rights that they are entitled to. It is time for the government to recognise the rights of trans people and ensure that they are not discriminated against in any form.


What is horizontal reservation?


Horizontal reservation refers to the reservation of a certain percentage of seats or jobs in educational institutions, public sector units, or government jobs for specific groups of individuals. This reservation is not based on caste or community but on other factors such as gender, disability, or economic status.


Horizontal reservation aims to promote equal opportunities and ensure that marginalized sections of society have fair access to education and employment. Examples of horizontal reservations in India include the reservation of seats for women, persons with disabilities, and economically weaker sections.


About the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019


The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 is a law enacted by the Indian Parliament to provide for the protection of rights of transgender persons and to ensure their welfare. The Act defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth, and includes transmen and transwomen, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities such as kinnar and hijra.


The Act prohibits discrimination against transgender persons in education, employment, healthcare, and other areas, and provides for their right to self-perceived gender identity. It also establishes a National Council for Transgender Persons to advise the government on transgender welfare issues and monitor the implementation of the Act.


However, the Act has faced criticism from some transgender activists and human rights organizations for being inadequate and not adequately addressing the concerns of the transgender community.




NALSA stands for National Legal Services Authority. It is a statutory body constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of society and to promote justice on the basis of equal opportunity.


In 2014, the Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgement in the case of National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, commonly known as the NALSA judgement, which recognized transgender people as a third gender and affirmed their right to self-identify their gender.


The judgement also directed the government to take steps to provide transgender people with equal opportunities in education and employment and to provide them with legal recognition and protection of their rights. The NALSA judgement is considered a significant milestone in the struggle for the rights of transgender people in India.


UPSC Main Exam Question


1. Explain horizontal reservation and critically evaluate the stand of the Union Government towards providing suitable jobs to transgender people in government organizations in light of the Transgender Persons Act, 2019. Also, discuss the effectiveness of the Act in promoting the rights and welfare of the transgender community in India. (250 words)

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