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To ensure participation of more women and differently-abled students in PhD programmes, Union Minister Smriti Irani announced a slew of measures including a two-year extension for them to submit thesis papers.
Women and differently-abled students will get eight years, instead of six years, to submit their thesis, maternity leave benefit and migration facilities, Union HRD Minister said in her convocation address at the North Eastern Hill University.  
"The Government of India has proposed that in the forthcoming commission meeting of the University Grants Commission (UGC), we will ensure that instead of two years, women and differently abled students be given three years to submit their MPhil certification," the Union HRD minister said. 
 
"This will give impetus to increase participation in PhD programmes by women and differently-abled students," Union HRD Minister said.
 
Stating that the government knows the problems faced by women who often have to leave their aspirations and dreams because of marriage, Union HRD Minister said another proposal discussed with the UGC chairperson yesterday was give maternity leave for women students without counting the leave period in the days of their study.

She said, "The core of education will not be strengthened till such time that we propagate a more women centric aspect and having them as faculty members."  
The Union HRD Minister also said she discussed with NEHU Vice-Chancellor, K S Srivastava, on the establishment of a separate department to study the tribal history, culture and philosophy of the North East.
 
On the two issues raised by MHRD students union, Union HRD Minister said the AICTE approval on the technology course run by the university will be given within one week.
 
On setting up of a coaching centre at the NEHU campus, Union HRD Minister said, NEHU will have a centre to provide coaching for SC/ST, minority, and female students.
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