University seeks details on pregnancy, period

Activists term Rajasthan varsity's move insensitive

University seeks details on pregnancy, period

The admission form of Banasthali University, one of the five varsities meant exclusively for women, has come as a shocker to many students for its questions on their menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Page 10 of the admission form consists of two parts. The first part, which is mandatory for all, asks the respondent to mention her period date, date of the last period and if she has consulted a gynecologist. The second part is meant for married women, and asks respondents if they are pregnant, date of last delivery and details of a miscarriage, among others. While some students think the university has the right to ask personal questions, many are left appalled.

This evoked sharp reactions from various quarters, including activists and women and social groups, which termed it an insensitive approach.

A home science student told DH, “Every year, we fill the admission and re-admission forms, but such questions were never asked. This is the first time the administration has introduced it and they should rework it.”

However, the university, situated in Tonk district, said the questions were asked keeping in mind the hygiene, safety and good health of its students.

Aditya Shastri, vice chancellor, was in favour of the questions in the form. “These questions have been asked to get a general idea about their health. Since it is a women’s varsity and we have medical assistance for our students, the gynecology-related questions have been designed for general information.”

Opposing the initiative, Rajasthan Women's Commission chairperson Suman Sharma said, “This is a very immature approach by such a prestigious university. We will take a note of it and will speak to the vice chancellor. Such private details are not meant to be shared. It is equal to harassing students.”

Kavita Srivastava, social activist and member of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, termed it an insensitive approach.

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