Horizontal Reservations for Transgender Persons

The issue of providing additional reservations for transgender persons in education and public employment has come under scrutiny in the Bombay High Court. The Maharashtra government has responded that it would be challenging to implement additional reservations due to the existing reservation system for various communities in India.  

Understanding Vertical and Horizontal Reservations 

Vertical reservations target social asymmetry and backwardness based on caste hierarchy, benefiting Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes. On the other hand, horizontal reservations cut across all vertical groups to ensure affirmative measures for disadvantaged groups within categories, such as disabled persons. 

The Right to Reservation for Transgender Persons 

The Supreme Court ruling in the NALSA case recognized transgender persons as a socially and educationally backward class, affirming their right to reservation. However, the ruling did not specify the nature of reservations, whether vertical or horizontal. 

Demand for Horizontal Reservation 

Transgender persons have been advocating for horizontal reservation, emphasizing the need for provisions that address their marginalized status and ensure equal opportunities in education and employment. They argue that existing reservations based solely on caste or tribal identity may limit their options. 

Implementation Status and Legal Proceedings 

The Central government has not provided specific direction regarding the implementation of reservations for transgender persons. However, Karnataka has emerged as a pioneer by offering one percent horizontal reservation to transgender persons in 2021. Transgender individuals have filed petitions in courts such as the Delhi HC, Madras HC, and Rajasthan HC, seeking horizontal reservation in education and employment. 



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