Hyderabad: Pregnant women studying post-graduate and undergraduate degrees may be eligible for maternity leave of up to 240 days throughout their academic time, which is welcome news to many expecting mothers.
Following a mandate from the University Grants Commission (UGC), Central, State, private, deemed universities, and autonomous institutions must make required revisions to their existing maternity leave laws for their students who would become mothers.
While most institutions enable PhD students, including pregnant women, to switch their full-time research programmes to part-time for justifiable reasons, expectant parents pursuing undergraduate and post-graduate degrees were not granted the same privilege.
The UGC has designed new regulations to address the challenges that these women encounter. As a result, women enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes can now take up to 240 days of maternity leave during their academic time.
Presently, the implementation of the New Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) permits universities and colleges to take a one-year vacation from the undergraduate to post-graduate and similar course periods. The question now is whether a future mother who is studying undergraduate or graduate studies can take 240 days of maternity leave in addition to the break year.
According to a recent UGC order, women applicants may be granted maternity or child care leave for up to 24O days throughout their M Phil/PhD programme. As a result, it has requested that all higher education institutions develop suitable rules/norms for extending maternity leave to pregnant mothers who are students there.
Apart from that, it has requested that required relaxations and exemptions be granted in terms of attendance, an extension of the deadline for submitting examination forms, and any other facility deemed essential for expecting mothers enrolled in undergraduate and post-graduate programmes.