The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has officially given approval to a provision, granting students enrolled in its authorised colleges the opportunity to take maternity and childcare leave during the course of their studies.
In a recent communication addressed to state governments, NCTE emphasised that the duration of their academic program would be extended accordingly to accommodate this provision. This adjustment aligns with the norms and standards set for all teacher education programs.
The government made the confirmation through an official letter. “The eligible candidates shall be entitled to avail the maternity leave/child care leave as per guidelines issued by University Grants Commission (UGC), the respective State/Union Territory (UT) government, or the affiliating body concerned,” the letter read. NCTE has approved nearly 17,000 colleges for conducting teacher education courses.
Following the MPhil/PhD regulations of 2016, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has already granted research students in universities the benefit of up to 240 days for academic leaves. In a progressive move in 2021, the UGC extended these benefits to undergraduate and postgraduate students as well.
As part of this provision, all higher education institutions have been urged to establish guidelines for providing this facility to students. Institutions are encouraged to offer relaxations or exemptions in attendance requirements and deadlines for submitting examination forms for students availing of these benefits. This measure aims to support students in balancing academic commitments and personal circumstances.