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NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TRANSGENDER PERSONS

Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Why in news?

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons, a requirement under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.

National Council for Transgender Persons

  • The National Council for Transgender Persons is India’s First and is a Statutory Body since it is formed under Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
  • The Main aim of the National Council for Transgender Persons is to mainstream the transgender community’s concerns, focusing on livelihood issues as well as to raise awareness about the trans community, so that transgender persons are accepted within families and in the larger society.
  • Another aim is to ensure that transgender welfare boards are set up in all States and essential needs of the transgender community, like housing, food, healthcare and education are met.

Functions of the National Council for Transgender Persons

  • Advising the Central government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons.
  • Reviewing and coordinating the activities of all the departments.
  • Redressing grievances of transgender persons.
  • Performing such other functions as prescribed by the Centre.

Composition

  • Its chairperson will be the Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It will consist of Representatives from five states or Union Territories (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions, on a rotational basis) and Five members of the transgender community (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions).
  • The council will also have joint secretary-level members from the Ministries of Health, Home, Minority Affairs, Education, Rural Development, Labour and Law.
  • In addition, there will be a member from the Department of Pensions (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions), NITI Aayog, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women.

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, defines a transgender person as one who is partly female or male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.
  • Additionally, the bill states that the person’s gender must not match the assigned gender at birth.
  • Every transgender person in the country must obtain an identity certificate which will be used as the proof of recognition of identity as a transgender person and to avail all the rights under the Bill.
  • The identity certificate would be granted by the District Magistrate on the recommendation of a Screening Committee.
  • The screening committee for recommending the certificate would comprise a medical officer, a psychologist or psychiatrist, a district welfare officer, a government official, and a transgender person.
  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 prohibits discriminating with transgender people in education, employment, healthcare and other areas.
  • The Bill directs the central and state governments for providing welfare schemes to the Transgender community in these areas.
  • The Bill also provides for the punishment of up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine for offences like compelling a transgender person to beg, denial of access to a public place, physical and sexual abuse, etc.

-Source: The Hindu, Hindustan Times

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December 2022
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