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Tamil Nadu Government to Cover Higher Education Fees for Transgender Students

The government of Tamil Nadu declared that it will pay for transgender students’ whole higher education fees if they want to enroll in courses. The state government has granted Rs 2 crore to the Tamil Nadu Transgender Welfare Board for this purpose.

On February 19, 2024, the Tamil Nadu government unveiled the state budget 2024-2025. In his budget address, Finance Minister Thennarasu stated that higher education is critical to improving the transgender community’s socioeconomic condition and prosperity.

“However, only a limited number of transgender individuals are pursuing higher education in Tamil Nadu at present. In light of this, the government will cover all educational expenses including tuition and hostel fees for transgender individuals who want to pursue higher education,” the minister announced.

Tamil Nadu was the first state to constitute an exclusive welfare board for transgenders in 2008. The government had in 2021 extended the free bus travel for women in town buses to people from the transgender community.

Furthermore, the minister proposed a policy that will provide a two-year payroll subsidy of 10% of the salary of women, differently abled, and transgender employees to any new industrial units that directly employ over 500 such persons from Tamil Nadu.

“In addition, creches for baby children will be developed in all major SIPCOT industrial estates through a public-private collaboration to assist working women. A new tailor-made skill training programme will be established to assist women who wish to re-enter the labour market after taking a sabbatical for reasons such as marriage and pregnancy,” he said.

The state budget includes a scheme to encourage government school students to enroll in higher educational institutions. According to this scheme, students will receive Rs 1,000 per month as a stipend for their higher education.

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