Ms To Mr: Government Approves Gender Self identification for IRS Officer, Name & Gender Change In Official Records

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Synopsis

The initiative earmarks an important development in the sphere of Diversity and Inclusion by PM Modi-led government and is an important catalyst making way for effective implementation of the Supreme Court’s NALSA judgment

In a landmark move, the Ministry of Finance has approved a Hyderabad-based senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer's request to change her name and gender in all official records. The directive has been hailed by senior IRS officers as a progressive step towards gender inclusivity within government roles. 

M Anusuya, a 35-year-old Joint Commissioner at the Chief Commissioner’s (Authorised Representative) office in the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in Hyderabad, had submitted a plea for changing her gender from female to male and her name to M Anukathir Surya.

The order dated July 9, 2024 stated : “Ms M Anusuya, IRS (C&IT: 2013) [Employee Code: 4623, DOB: 20.10.1988] presently posted as Joint Commissioner in 0/o Chief Commissioner (AR), CESTAT, Hyderabad has requested for change of her name from Ms M Anusuya to Mr M Anukathir Surya and Gender from Female to Male,” confirming that the request had been considered and granted, with the officer henceforth recognised as Mr M Anukathir Surya in all official records.

Notably, M Anukathir Surya was first appointed as an associate commissioner in Chennai in December 2012. He was promoted to Deputy Commissioner in 2018 and relocated to Hyderabad last year to assume his current role. Surya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication from the Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai, and completed a PG Diploma in Cyber Law and Cyber Forensics from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, in 2023.

The development in the diversity and inclusion sphere spearheaded by PM Modi-led government is a monumental step in light of Supreme Court’s landmark National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) vs. Union of India judgment, which recognised the third gender and affirmed that gender identity is a personal choice. In this case, the apex court upheld the right of all persons to self-identify their gender, emphasising that transgender individuals should not be denied basic human rights and that the Constitution ensures a dignified life for them. 

[With inputs from agencies]