In a novel step in Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU) has decided to provide maternity leave of 60 days to degree and postgraduate students of 18 years and above to ensure their studies don’t get interrupted.
A Syndicate meeting chaired by Pro Vice-Chancellor CT Aravinda Kumar was held to make this provision officially available to the students, PTI reported citing a statement by the university.
Leave available once during course
As per reports, the Syndicate approved the recommendations of a committee constituted by it to conduct a study on the issue.
According to the university, the maternity leave can be taken before or after delivery. Though, it will only be granted for the first or second pregnancy and only once during the duration of a course.
The pronouncement by the university further states that the period of leave will include public and ordinary holidays and no other leave can be clubbed with it. Also, a leave of 14 days will be provided in cases of abortion, tubectomy etc.
Students won’t lose semester
To ensure that students’ studies remain unaffected due to pregnancy, those taking maternity leave during a semester will be allowed to register for exams of that semester. They can write it as a supplementary along with regular students next semester. However, they will not lose a semester after their maternity leave is over, as they can continue their studies in the current semester with their batch.
Doctor’s certificate required to avail leave
If students on maternity leave have practical, lab and viva examinations, the head of the institution or department should make necessary arrangements for this, the Syndicate decided. The release stated that a registered doctor’s certificate has to be provided along with the application three days before the commencement of the leave to avail of the maternity leave.
Kerala HC on termination of pregnancy
In November, the Kerala High Court allowed an unmarried woman to abort her 24-week-old pregnancy, saying it’s a woman’s choice to have a child or to abort the foetus.
The court heard a plea from a 23-year-old MBA student who became pregnant from a consensual relationship with a classmate. She approached the High Court after hospitals refused her request for medical termination of pregnancy as it had crossed 24 weeks.
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