Following concerns raised by single mothers, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, urging him to change the rule that requires father’s name to be mandatorily mentioned on a student’s degree certificate. Last year, at the behest of Maneka, the Ministry of External Affairs had revised its passport application rules and announced that the name of only one parent, and not both, was enough, enabling single parents to apply for passports for their children.
“I have been approached by several women who are separated from their husbands and who face problems getting degree certificates issued for their children without their father’s name,” reads the letter written by Maneka to Javadekar.
She explains in her letter that “breakdown of marriages and separation between husband and wife is now a reality” and rules must reflect this.
“Keeping in view the sensitivity of the single/separated mother, we need to make a provision for this purpose by changing rules/guidelines,” the letter adds.
Priyanka Gupta, a single parent, had initiated a petition last year on Change.org, asking for passport rules to be altered, so that she was not required to mention her husband’s name on her daughter’s passport. The petition was addressed to Maneka and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Subsequently, Maneka had written to Swaraj and a three-member committee comprising officials of the two ministries was constituted.
Months later, the MEA announced the revised set of passport rules and declared that the name of only one parent was enough and that married applicants will not have to produce a marriage certificate and share their spouse’s name if they were separated or divorced.