From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Transgenders' rights
In a big win for an aspiring pilot and the entire transgender community, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has for the first time framed new medical guidelines that allow transgender persons who have completed gender transition therapy or surgery to be declared fit to fly.
What did DGCA allow?
- The DGCA guidelines for aeromedical evaluation of transgender persons for obtaining medical clearance for all categories of pilot’s licence — private pilot’s licence, student pilot licence and commercial pilot licence.
- An ongoing hormone therapy will also not be a ground for disqualification.
- It says that candidates who have completed their hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgery more than five years ago will be declared medically fit.
- They should clear screening for mental health in accordance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
- However, transgender pilots “may” have some limitations imposed such as being allowed to only fly as first officers (junior pilots).
- When they are flying as pilot-in-command their co-pilot has to have 250 hours of flying on that particular type of aircraft or the co-pilot has to be a senior captain who is a trainer.
Why such modification?
- An Indian citizen, is the first transgender trainee pilot with a private pilot licence from South Africa.
- He/she was unable to complete his training in India after the DGCA in April 2020 rejected his medical clearance needed to obtain a student’s pilot licence.
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment intervened and wrote to the DGCA.
- It called the rules “discriminatory” and in violation of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act of 2019 and demanded “guidelines for licensing” for transgender persons.
- Because of the fear of backlash from society, family and friends, coming out as a transgender is itself a very challenging move for those who hide their identity.
- Major issue lies with societal acceptance of transgender and recognition. Such steps create awareness among people with example.
- Society should be made sensitive enough to realize it is none of the concerned person’s fault.
Back2Basics: Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019: Key Features
- The act defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth.
- It includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.
Prohibition against discrimination
- It prohibits the discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment in relation to education, employment, healthcare, access to, or enjoyment of goods, facilities, opportunities available to the public.
- Every transgender person shall have a right to reside and be included in his household.
- No government or private entity can discriminate against a transgender person in employment matters, including recruitment, and promotion.
- A transgender person may make an application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, indicating the gender as ‘transgender’.
- Educational institutions funded or recognised by the relevant government shall provide inclusive facilities for transgender persons, without discrimination.
- The government must provide health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV surveillance centres, and sex reassignment surgeries.
- The National Council for Transgender persons (NCT) chaired by Union Minister for Social Justice, will advise the central government as well as monitor the impact of policies with respect to transgender persons.
- It will also redress the grievances of transgender persons.
- The Bill imposes penalties for the offences against transgender persons like bonded labour, denial of use of public places, removal from household & village and physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economic abuse.