NALSAR becomes the first institution to issue a gender neutral degree in India

NALSAR becomes the first institution to issue a gender neutral degree in India

In a sui generis event, NALSAR, Hyderabad has issued a gender neutral degree to a student who wanted to be identified not Mr. or Ms. But as Mx.Anindita Mukherjee, student at NALSAR had requested the University to issue her the certificates with Mx. as the prefix.

Reportedly, the certificates also mention Anindita Mukherjee as “they” rather than “he” or “she’. Mx. Anindita Mukherjee reportedly said, "The university sent us our provisional transcripts and asked us to email back within a week with any corrections we might want in it. I responded with a request for the honorific to be corrected."

She added,"I felt that there was no reason why my transcript needed to mention my gender. Besides, law universities are the spaces where we are constantly discussing justice, rights and identity, so I wanted to see if the university would walk the talk on that point. Mx being a gender-neutral honorific that has been gaining traction, I asked if my transcript could refer to me as 'Mx. Anindita Mukherjee' instead of 'Ms.Anindita Mukherjee'."

Last year, the Supreme Court of India had recognized transgenders as the third sex and had also considered to give them the benefits available to OBCs.

Amita Dhanda, NALSAR’s Convenor of the Academics and Examinations committee also said, "We as an institution have also not taken a policy decision yet but we found nothing objectionable in the student's request. In the near future, the university will also be exploring formulation or implementation of such a policy". She added, "Being a university of Law we definitely advocate what is legal but this case was treated as a matter of fact and we came up with this 'creatively interpreted decision' maintaining harmony with both social and scientific understanding. This is a small step to recognise both gender fluidity and self-identification."

You may further read:The Transgender community to be formally recognised as the third sex and also to avail the benefits of socially and economically Backward Communities: the Supreme Court directs the Centre and the State Governments