Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to the HRD Ministry asking it not to make it mandatory for students to mention their father’s name on degree certificates, keeping in mind that some may be the children of single mothers. Maneka had earlier made a similar plea regarding passports.
This time, Maneka wrote to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Maneka said she been approached by several women, single, separated or divorced, who are unable to procure their child’s degree certificate without giving the child’s father’s name. The minister explained to Javadekar that rules must factor in the sensitivity of the issue and be changed to reflect the reality of “breakdown of marriages”.
Maneka had earlier written to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on the issue of passports. Her letter to Swaraj had highlighted the case of harassment faced by a single mother, Priyanka Gupta, whose husband abandoned her child immediately after her birth and yet passport officials refused the child a passport unless it mentioned the father’s name.
The Woman and Child Development Ministry had spoken about how it is demeaning for single women when they are asked for irrelevant details that they are often not comfortable revealing.
Immediately afterwards, an inter-ministerial committee was formed which recommended doing away with the practice of compulsorily printing the child’s father’s name or the name of the spouse on the passport. The recommendations were accepted by the MEA.