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National Council for Transgender Persons- Function, Composition

Established under the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act 2019 by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, the National Council for Transgender Persons (NCPT) plays a crucial role in advising the Central Government on transgender-related policies and laws.

The significance of this council is emphasized in the UPSC IAS Examination, particularly in General Studies Paper 2 (Mains) and General Studies Paper 1 (Preliminary), within the Social Justice section. This discussion explores the NCPT, covering its origins, organization, goals, functions, importance, and broader impacts.

National Council for Transgender Persons

  • The National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP) stands as a legal entity within the Indian government, tasked with offering policy recommendations on issues concerning transgender, intersex, and individuals with diverse Gender Identity/Expression and Sex Characteristics (GIESC).
  • Established in 2020 by the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2019, the council operates under the leadership of Thawar Chand Gehlot, who assumed the role of Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in October 2020.
  • Comprising delegates representing each of the five geographical regions—north, south, east, west, and northeast—along with four transgender individuals and one intersex member, the council embodies diverse perspectives.
  • Additionally, it includes five experts from non-governmental organizations who serve as ex-officio Joint Secretary level representatives from various government departments.

Background of National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP)

  • In 2013, the Central Government constituted a committee aimed at identifying and addressing the challenges faced by transgender individuals in India, to improve their circumstances and facilitate their integration into society.
  • A landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of India in 2014 recognized transgender individuals as the “third gender,” marking a significant legal victory for the transgender community.
  • The NALSA Case Judgement 2014 was a pivotal moment for transgender rights, affirming their right to self-identification and protection under the law.
  • Following the 2014 ruling, a private member bill advocating for equal rights and protection for transgender individuals was introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Although the 2014 bill lapsed, the Central Government introduced a new bill in the Lok Sabha in 2016, which was subsequently passed by Parliament in 2019.
  • The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was enacted, providing legal safeguards and provisions for the welfare of transgender individuals.
  • As a part of the legislation enacted in 2019, the Central Government announced the establishment of the National Council of Transgender Persons in 2020, solidifying institutional support for the transgender community.

AIM of NCTP

The National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP) is an official entity under the Government of India, dedicated to addressing livelihood concerns and promoting awareness regarding the transgender community. Its primary objective is to foster acceptance of transgender individuals within families and society at large.

The NCTP endeavours to establish transgender welfare boards in all states, ensuring the fulfilment of fundamental needs such as access to food, healthcare, housing, and education for the transgender community.

Composition of National Council for Transgender Persons

Candidates check the table provided below for the Composition of the National Council for Transgender Persons:

Provisions Description
Chairperson (ex-officio member) Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Vice Chairperson (ex-officio member) Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment
Representation from the central government Representatives from 10 central departments. The council will have joint secretary-level members from the Ministries of Health, Home, Minority Affairs, Education, Rural Development, Labour, and Law.
Representation from states Representatives from five states or Union Territories (one each from the north, south, east, west, and northeast regions) on a rotational basis.
Transgender community representation Five members of the transgender community (one each from the north, south, east, west and northeast regions).
Additional members Member from the Department of Pensions (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions), NITI Aayog, National Human Rights Commission, and National Commission for Women

Five Key Members of NCTP

The National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP) includes five members from the transgender community, one each representing the east, west, north, south, and northeast regions. The inaugural members of the Council are:

  • Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
  • Gopi Shankar Madurai
  • Meera Parida
  • Zainab Javid Pate
  • Kak Chingtabam Shyamcand Sharma

Additionally, the Council comprises 10 other members serving at the joint-secretary level, representing various government departments and organizations. These members are selected from:

  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Ministry of Minority Affairs
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Ministry of Labour and Law
  • Department of Pensions (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions)
  • NITI Aayog
  • National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
  • National Commission for Women

Functions of National Council for Transgender Persons

Candidates can check the functions of the National Council for Transgender Persons provided below:

  • Offering counsel to the Central Government regarding the formulation of policies, programs, legislation, and initiatives affecting transgender individuals.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of laws and programs aimed at achieving full equality and inclusion for transgender individuals.
  • Coordinating and assessing the endeavours of various government agencies, as well as both governmental and non-governmental organizations, in addressing transgender issues.
  • Addressing specific concerns and challenges faced by transgender people.
  • Facilitating the resolution of grievances filed by transgender individuals.
  • Fulfilling any additional duties as mandated by the Central Government.

Significance of National Council for Transgender Persons

  • The establishment of the National Council for Transgender Persons is a positive step towards fostering tolerance and acceptance for transgender individuals.
  • The effectiveness of the Council in addressing the challenges encountered by the transgender community and providing valuable guidance to the government hinges on its operational efficiency.
  • Alongside legislative measures, fostering inclusivity requires raising awareness among legal and law enforcement institutions about the specific issues faced by transgender individuals.

Need of National Council for Transgender Persons

  • In the past, transgender individuals were compelled to identify strictly as either male or female.
  • Consequently, the Supreme Court granted them the designation of “third gender” in a landmark judgment, envisioning a society that embraces all genders.
  • Recognizing their socio-economic challenges, the Supreme Court mandated the classification of transgender persons as socially and economically backward.
  • Additionally, the Supreme Court directed both federal and state governments to institute social welfare programs tailored for transgender individuals and to enhance public awareness to combat the stigma associated with their culture, beliefs, religion, and gender identity.
  • Emphasizing equal opportunities, the court urged prioritization of transgender individuals in education and employment.
  • Moreover, the court urged the government to recognize transgender persons as people with disabilities (OBCs), highlighting the need for supportive measures to address their unique challenges and ensure their inclusion.

Limitation of NCTP

Limitations of the National Council for Transgender Persons (NCTP):

  • Lack of Representation: The NCTP does not fully represent the diverse transgender community in India, with only five transgender members on the council.
  • Limited Implementation Powers: The NCTP’s authority to enforce policies for transgender welfare is constrained. It can only provide recommendations to the government, which may not always be implemented.
  • Persistence of Social Stigma: Despite legal recognition, transgender individuals in India still face social stigma and discrimination, which can undermine the NCTP’s efforts to empower them.
  •  Inadequate government funding hampers the NCTP’s capacity to execute programs effectively.
  • Coordination Challenges: The NCTP encounters difficulties in coordinating with other government agencies working on transgender issues, potentially leading to gaps in service delivery.
  • Data Deficiency: The NCTP lacks comprehensive data on the transgender population in India, impeding its ability to develop targeted policies and initiatives.

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FAQs

What are the transgender laws?

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2019 (the 'Transgender Persons Act').

What does the national transgender site do?

Applying for a Certificate and Identity card electronically from anywhere in the nation is made easier with the help of the National Portal for Transgender Persons.

Which ministry oversees the transgender national council?

The National Council for Transgender Persons was established by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

When was the national transgender portal established?

The National Portal for Transgender People was created within two months of the Notification of Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 being effective on September 29, 2020.

What is a national identity card for transgender?

The Transgender certificate and identity card are nationally recognised and provided by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India; the certificate is required to access the welfare measures provided under the SMILE Yojana.

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