Smriti Irani announces benefits for women, disabled PhD students

Union HRD minister Smriti Irani (left) at the 13th Convocation of North Eastern Hills University, Shillong. (PTI photo)

To ensure participation of more women and disabled students in PhD programmes, Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday announced a slew of measures including a two-year extension for them to submit thesis papers.

Women and disabled students will get eight years, instead of six years, to submit their thesis, maternity leave benefit and migration facilities, Irani said in her convocation address at the North Eastern Hill University.

“The government of India has proposed that in the forthcoming commission meeting of the University Grants Commission (UGC), we will ensure that instead of two years, women and differently abled students be given three years to submit their MPhil certification,” the Union HRD minister said.

“This will give impetus to increase participation in PhD programmes by women and differently-abled students,” she said.

Stating that the government knows the problems faced by women who often have to leave their aspirations and dreams because of marriage, Irani said another proposal discussed with the UGC chairperson on Monday was give maternity leave for women students without counting the leave period in the days of their study.

 She said, “The core of education will not be strengthened till such time that we propagate a more women centric aspect and having them as faculty members.”
 The minister also said she discussed with NEHU vice-chancellor, KS Srivastava, on the establishment of a separate department to study the tribal history, culture and philosophy of the northeast.
 On the two issues raised by MHRD students union, Irani said the AICTE approval on the technology course run by the university will be given within one week.
On setting up of a coaching centre at the NEHU campus, she said, NEHU will have a centre to provide coaching for SC/ST, minority, and female students.

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