Karnataka UG-PG students may soon get maternity leave



  • Students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Karnataka may soon get maternity/childcare leave facilities after the University Grants Commission (UGC) nudged universities on the issue.
  • The Higher Education Department responded positively after the UGC asked universities to frame guidelines to extend maternity/childcare leave facilities at UG and PG level, a move academicians feel will help “women students to pursue higher education”.
  • The department will discuss the issue at the next meeting of Karnataka State Higher Education Council, which has vice chancellors of all the state-run universities as its members.
  • On Dec 14, the UGC issued a communication stating: “The women candidate may be provided maternity leave/child care leave once in the entire duration of M.Phil/PhD for up to 240 days.”
  • The circular requested “all higher education institutions to frame appropriate rules/norms with regard to granting maternity leave to the women students enrolled in their respective institutions/affiliated colleges and also provide all relaxations/exemptions relating to attendance”.
  • Vice Chancellors of several state-run universities have responded positively on the issue. According to them, the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), where exit options are available, will make the implementation of maternity/childcare leave possible.
  • Prof Karisiddappa, Vice Chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) said the move “will encourage women students to pursue higher education”. “The multiple entry and exit options available with NEP will make the implementation easier,” he said.
  • However, some of the universities have decided to place the issue before the academic council and syndicate meetings. “As the communication is from the UGC, it is not necessary to decide at the government level. The universities can decide by placing it in the academic council and syndicate meetings,” said a vice chancellor of a state-run university.
  • The Karnataka Government College Teachers Association has also welcomed the move.
  • T M Manjunath, president of the association, said it will “definitely help women students to continue their higher education”.


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