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Maneka Gandhi Bats for Single Moms. Says Father’s Name Shouldn’t Be Mandatory in Degree Certificates

Maneka Gandhi, the Woman and Child Development Minister, doesn’t want it to be mandatory to mention a child’s father’s name on degree certificates. And she has written a letter to the Ministry of Human Resource Development regarding the issue.

Currently there is a rule in place that makes it mandatory to mention the father’s name for mark sheets. This, argued Gandhi, is an additional burden on divorced, separated or single mothers who are raising their children alone. In the letter addressed to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, she writes that she is often approached by many single mothers who bring this issue to her notice.

A report from the Press Trust of India, has quoted Gandhi as having written, “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…Keeping in view the sensitivity of the single/separated mother, we need to make a provision for this purpose by changing rules/guidelines.”

She also said that the government needs to be cognizant of the fact that marriages break down, and alter rules that deal with such matters.


Photo source: Wikimedia

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This isn’t the first time Maneka Gandhi has filed a similar request to the government. Last year, after a single mother started a petition against the rule that made it mandatory to mention the father’s name in the child’s passport, Gandhi took the matter forward by approaching Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs.

As a result, the Ministry of External Affairs then announced that the rules had been amended and that the name of the only parent (father or mother) can be produced while applying for a passport. It also announced that separated or divorced couples didn’t have to produce their marriage certificates in order to apply for their child’s passport.

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