Transgenders in Indian Armed Forces? Study group formed to explore opportunities – Details
The Indians Armed Forces are considering employing transgender personnel and study group has begun exploring possible roles in the three services — Army, Navy and Air force. The exercise is based on the provisions of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
Written By: Ashish Verma
New Delhi: India’s armed forces may recruit transgenders in the force in future and a study group has been formed to explore the possibilities and employment opportunities for the third gender as it examines the implication of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, sources said.
The exercise is being done by all government departments to look at creating employment opportunities for transgenders based on the provisions of the bill.
Committee formed to explore options
A joint study group in the army formed a meeting in August of the Principal Personnel Officers Committee (PPOC) to thoroughly study the bill’s implications. The committee is led by a senior officer from the Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS). The group aims to discuss and propose an implementation strategy within the defence forces. The PPOC comprises senior officers from all three services and the Armed Forces’ tri-service medical organisation – AFMS, a report by Indian Express said.
Recently, the Army Adjutant General’s branch has sought feedback from its line directorates about the feasibility of recruiting transgender personnel and exploring potential career paths and roles within the forces. While most directorates have submitted their feedback, discussions are still in their initial stages.
Suggestions and challenges
Several suggestions have been submitted. Some advocate against special treatment during training, stringent selection procedures, or challenging postings for transgender individuals joining the military. Concerns have also been raised regarding administrative issues such as housing and infrastructure.
Moreover, questions remain about the recognition of transgender personnel and their spouses, if any, within the military, along with concerns about their cultural integration as they gradually integrate into the force in phases.
Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019
The Act, brought to safeguard transgender persons’ rights and prevent discrimination in various domains, aims to ensure equal opportunities without discrimination. Currently, neither transgender nor homosexual individuals are recruited into the Indian Armed Forces.
While the Act stands as an equal opportunity provider for the transgender community, officers emphasise that military recruitment remains merit-based. They highlight administrative challenges such as housing and facilities, particularly in field locations with limited resources.
Additionally, discussions touch on the potential restriction of postings solely to peace stations, which could limit opportunities for others after field tenures.
The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice presented a report to the Rajya Sabha on August 3, proposing that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) consider providing reservation benefits to transgender individuals in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and establish policies to facilitate their recruitment, despite the absence of transgender employees in the Armed Forces at present.
Courtesy : News Nine
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