Published: 13th January 2023
Kerala: CUSAT grants menstruation benefit of additional attendance condonation for students
The institute has granted an additional 2% condonation of attendance shortage to students each semester in response to their long-standing request
The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in Kerala has granted an additional 2% condonation of attendance shortage to students each semester in response to their long-standing request. This benefit, known as the "menstruation benefit," is intended to support students during their menstrual cycles.
An autonomous university, CUSAT has over 8000 students in various streams and more than half of them are girls. "Having considered the requests for menstruation benefits to female students, the Vice-Chancellor has ordered to sanction an additional 2% of condonation of shortage of attendance to female students, in each semester, subject to reporting to the Academic Council," a recent order issued by the joint registrar said, according to a report by PTI.
According to university sources, various student unions had been pressing for menstruation benefits for students for some time now. A proposal in this regard was formally submitted to the Vice Chancellor recently and it was approved following which an order was issued.
When contacted, a CUSAT official told PTI the condonation would be different for each student as it would depend on their attendance. "It will be different for each student. Each female student can claim two per cent of their total attendance as a menstrual benefit. That's why the exact number of leave is not mentioned in the order," the official said. The order would be applicable to students of all streams including those pursuing PhD in the university and is expected to be implemented with immediate effect, the official added.
Namitha George, the chairperson of the university students' union, expressed happiness that their demand was met by the varsity without raising objections. "As per the rules, CUSAT students need 75% attendance in each semester to appear for the exams. But, through the new order, female students will get a relaxation of two per cent in this and their eligible attendance is lowered to 73% in each semester," she told PTI.
Namitha, an LLB student, said though the earlier demand of the union was to grant a particular number of leaves as menstrual leaves in each semester, the university pointed to some practical difficulties to implement that. "Those practical issues were genuine. So, we also accepted the suggestion of the provision for condonation of shortage to female students. The university authorities including the Vice Chancellor adopted a positive approach to the issue," she said.
The order would be submitted before the academic council for procedural approval and is expected to be implemented soon after getting its nod. Sreedevi, a PhD student at Kerala University, told PTI that a similar system should be implemented in all higher education institutions. "The CUSAT's decision to grant menstruation benefits for girl students is a historic one. I feel it is very important and it should be implemented in all colleges and universities," she said.