If all goes well, the higher education female teachers in the state will get two years paid child care leave.
Also, for the first time the female teachers would get 180 days adoption leave on the lines of maternity leave in case they adopt a baby. The male teachers would also get 15 days paternity adoption leave. A provision of special casual leave to undergo sterilisation operation under family welfare programme will also be available to the teachers.
These provisions are part of the new regulations on service conditions issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The new regulations have increased the maternity leave from 135 days to 180 days, which can be available twice in the entire career. There is also a provision of paid leave in case of miscarriage including abortion.
However, what has been widely appreciated by the teachers is the provision of child care leave in which women teachers may be granted leave up to two years for taking care of their minor children. The leave can be availed once in the entire service period. Such a provision is already in place for Central government employees. Further, the new UGC regulations also include 180 days leave for the female teachers on adopting a child below one years of age. Male teachers would get 15 days paternity leave on adopting a child. However, the adoption leave would be allowed to childless teachers or those having only one child.
The new regulations have reduced the casual leave from 14 days to eight but have made a provision of special casual leave of ten days. This leave can be availed by the teachers for conducting examination of a university/public service commission/board of examination or other similar bodies/institutions and to inspect academic institutions attached to a statutory board. This leave would also be allowed for undergoing sterilisation operation — six days for men and 14 days for women.
Further, there is a provision of duty leave of maximum 30 days in an academic year which might be granted for attending conferences, congresses, symposia and seminars on behalf of the institution, delivering lectures in institutions and universities on invitation, working in another Indian or foreign university, any other agency, institution or organisation, when so deputed by the university among other things. Besides, study leave, sabbatical leave and earned leave will also be available as earlier.
The higher education department is studying the new regulations and has assured to take a decision soon. The move will benefit over 15,000 teachers, including over 4,000 female teachers, in UP. Teachers have welcomed the new UGC regulations on leave.
“It’s good that the UGC has recognised the importance of child care in a family. Many women had to leave their careers midway for raising children. But now managing career and family would be easy for women teachers,” said Sanyukta Shukla, a teacher.
“Provision for adoption leave will be of great help particularly for single women teachers who want to adopt babies. And, I hope state government will have no objection in accepting it as they do not amount to any financial burden on the state exchequer,” said Moulindu Mishra, Lucknow University Associated College Teachers’ Association.