Thiruvananthapuram, January 19, (BPNS )
In a major decision, the state government has decided to grant menstrual leave to all girl students studying in higher educational institutions that came under the Higher Education Department. An order of this kind was released by the department on Thursday. As per the order, students above 18 years of age will also get a maximum maternity leave of 60 days. The universities under the department have been asked to make necessary changes in their acts in an ‘urgent manner’.
“The girl students could now avail of menstrual leave. Those students who are above 18 years of age could also avail of a maximum of 60 days of maternity leave. The universities concerned will have to make necessary amendments to their respective acts to incorporate these changes immediately,” reads an excerpt from the order.
The order also highlighted that the girl students will now have to ensure 73 percent attendance. Earlier, only students who have 75 percent attendance of the total working days are allowed to appear for the semester examinations. Those who fall short of the requisite attendance had to submit applications seeking permission for condonation by paying a fixed fee. They also had to produce medical certificates to justify their absence.
It was the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) that first came forward with the idea of granting menstrual leave. The university came out with an order of this kind on January 11 after considering a plea from the CUSAT Students Union.
The Union had demanded 24 days’ leave a year with two days’ leave each in every menstrual cycle for both students and staff.
With the decision receiving accolades from all quarters, state higher education minister R Bindu declared on January 16 that steps would be taken to introduce menstrual leave in all universities under the higher education department.