[Representational Image]Reuters

Transgender candidates can now enrol in all the programmes offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for free provided they produce a valid identity proof.

"The competent authority is pleased to approve fee exemption in all programmes for transgender candidates. Any certificate issued by the central/state government/medical officer/any other competent authority/ Aadhaar card, etc may be sought for the purpose," the university said in a notification on June 29, signed by the Registrar of the Student Registration Division as quoted by The Indian Express.

IGNOU's vice-chancellor Ravindra Kumar said that this move motivates transgender students to apply for various certificate courses.

The admissions at the varsity are held twice a year and the July session will close on July 31. Kumar further added that they had already received 100 applications.

It is said that an NGO had approached the regional director of IGNOU saying that transgender students enrolling into their programmes might give them a moral boost. So, the university authorities welcomed the idea.

Back in 2012, the university had introduced the other gender category even before the Supreme Court officially identified them as the third gender in 2014.

Further, Kumar went on to add that the identity proof that was demanded from the transgender candidate was to keep imposters at bay. Seeing that there is a fee waiver, there are chances that many might turn up calling themselves transgender.