Bhubaneswar, Jan 10: Odisha BJP MLA Mukesh Mahaling has written a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suggesting the state government to frame rules for granting maternity leave to women students studying in various colleges and universities in the state.
Mahaling in his letter said on Tuesday that such steps would help in curbing dropout rates of female students in educational institutions across the state.
The BJP legislator from Loisingha constituency in Balangir district has written in his letter that many women students in the state have been proactively enrolling in colleges and universities for higher studies even after their marriage.
"Further it is observed that, when these married women students get pregnant during pursuing their higher studies then they are facing difficulties to maintain their required attendance and become ineligible to appear in the examination as the state government has not framed any rules for granting maternity leave/childcare leave for those women students," Mahaling said.
He added that the women students are forced to discontinue their higher studies so women students' dropout cases are increasing day-by- day in the state for this reason.
He also referred to a letter of the Secretary, University Grants Commission, addressing the Vice-Chancellors of universities asking for granting maternity leave to their students pursuing higher studies.
"Although Secretary, University Grants Commission, has issued direction to all Vice-Chancellors of universities of Odisha since last two years, unfortunately no action has been taken by Vice-Chancellors of universities of Odisha to frame appropriate rules/norms with regard to granting maternity leave/childcare leave to the women students enrolled in their respective institution/affiliated college," the BJP leader said.
He added that the universities by granting maternity leave should provide all relaxation relating to attendance, extension in date for submitting examination forms or any other facility deemed necessary for women students pursuing undergraduate/postgraduate programmes.