With the State government granting menstrual and maternity leaves for girl students in universities, a demand has been made to reduce their required minimum internal marks as well and include transpersons too as beneficiaries in the University of Calicut.
P. Rasheed Ahammed, United Democratic Front-aligned Syndicate member, in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, said the government’s decision to lower the minimum attendance for girls from 75% to 73% to grant them menstrual leave should be welcomed. He, however, pointed out that of the thousands of students in colleges affiliated to the University of Calicut, very few were found to have their attendance percentage below 75. Their number will not go beyond 100 in a semester. Thus, if the university can reduce internal marks based on attendance by 2%, it will benefit a large number of students.
For instance, instead of giving one mark for those having attendance between 75% and 80%, students with attendance between 73% and 78% should be given one mark. Instead of giving two marks to students having attendance between 80% and 85%, those with attendance between 78% and 83% should be given two marks.
Mr. Ahammed also suggested that the benefit need not be termed “menstrual leave” as at least some girl students may not have menstrual periods. Trans-menstruators might be excluded from within its ambit too. An affidavit or a certificate should not be made mandatory either. He also sought extension of the benefit to transpersons as it would help a large number of people.
Mr. Ahammed, meanwhile, alleged that the government order was vague while referring to menstrual leave. It did not mention the duration of the leave or the procedure to get it granted. He urged the Vice-Chancellor to have detailed discussions and studies before implementing the order in the university.
The universities have been told to amend their rules to implement the order. The Calicut University authorities are likely to discuss the government order at the Syndicate meeting scheduled for January 30.