Mumbai, April 24, 2015 | UPDATED 08:51 IST

In a move aimed at helping transgender persons open bank accounts and avail related services, the Reserve Bank directed banks to include a separate column ‘third gender‘ in all their forms and applications.

It has been brought to our notice that transgender persons face difficulties in opening accounts as there is no provision for them in the account opening and other forms, the RBI said.

“Banks are, therefore, directed to include ‘third gender’ in all forms/applications etc. prescribed by the Reserve Bank or the banks themselves, wherein any gender classification is envisaged,” it said in a notification.

Citing the Supreme Court judgment in the National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India, the central bank said all transgender people were to be treated as ‘third gender’.

“The Supreme Court, in that case, upheld transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender and directed the centre and state governments to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender,” the RBI said.