Education
Kerala University grants maternity leave for up to six months for female students

Kerala University grants maternity leave for up to six months for female students

The University of Kerala, a state-run public university located in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, issued an order that permits six months of maternity leave for female students above the age of 18. The decision was disclosed a day before Women’s Day 2023. 

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Image source : Kerala University Kerala Kaumudi

The University of Kerala, a state-run public university located in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, issued an order that permits six months of maternity leave for female students above the age of 18. The decision was disclosed a day before Women’s Day 2023. 

On January 19, the state government announced that students would be given provision for menstrual leave. On this account, higher education institutions were demanded to reduce the minimum attendance requirement for girls from 75 per cent to 73 per cent. Based on this facility provided by the Kerala government, the university decided to come up with maternity leave. 

One of the representatives of Kerala University said that the students do not have to worry about the course getting discontinued. They can recommence the course once they submit maternity leave without taking admission again. 

The university association stated that the responsibility of ensuring the proper working of the order is on the principal of the institution. They have to check the medical certificate and allow the student to rejoin the college. This is done to not seek consent from the university every time a student needs it. 

The department of higher education commanded menstrual leave for all the higher education institutions of Kerala in January. Following the order, Mahatma Gandhi University (MG University) made the first move to bring the instruction into force. This step taken by MG University received a lot of appreciation and was declared a revolutionary measure.

The government suggested that colleges may issue maternity leave for up to six weeks. But Kerala University of Health Sciences went ahead with granting the same for six months. The conclusion was made in a meeting that took place in the administrative center of the university. 

Other than Kerala University, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) has permitted students to take maternity leave for 60 days. They were the first to permit menstrual leave for students succeeding a plea raised by the students’ union.

A radical step

The ultimate objective of the Higher Education Department of the Kerala Government is to expand the facility of menstrual and maternity leave to all the universities and colleges affiliated with the state government. If the mission becomes successful, Kerala will be the first state in India to provide menstrual and maternity leave for female students of the institutions that come under the government’s Higher Education Department. 

The government earned a huge positive response for the initiative. The public, especially female students, believes that this could pave the way for a radical change in the education system of the country. It will make the process more feasible and accessible for girls. 

About the order, Pinarayi Vijayan said that the state administration will invest its best to make the request possible. This would also make Kerala’s huge contribution to empowering women at a pan-India level.

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