The Tamil Nadu government will look at a new legislative framework for maternity benefits after the Centre passes the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill in the winter session of the Lok Sabha, said state minister for school education, sports and youth welfare K Pandiarajan on Friday.
With the new legislation, women in the private sector can also look forward to relief in terms of more maternity leave, better benefits and flexible working options, said the minister. “The state government will be widening the benefits of the Centre’s new policy,” he added. In August, the Rajya Sabha passed an amendment bill that proposes six months’ maternity leave for all working women, including those who choose to adopt.
“Tamil Nadu has been at the forefront of empowering working women. Long before the Centre’s proposal, chief minister J Jayalalithaa increased maternity leave to six months from 90 days in 2011. This year, she fulfilled her election promise and increased maternity leave to nine months from six months,” said the minister at the BEACON business ethics conference 2016, organised by the Loyola Institute of Business Administration and National HRD Network, Chennai Chapter.
“Amma science and math kits are now getting ready for children studying in government schools. We will be handing them out shortly to schools. This is the first of its kind innovative concept that is being introduced in India by a state government. All the kits promote self-learning; students will be able to touch and feel objects and figure out abstract mathematical concepts,” he said. “With the science kits for physics and chemistry, students will be able to perform simple experiments themselves. Even the syllabus will be reflecting a more interactive, participatory approach from students,” he added. The Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) is involved in the purchase and test-usage of the kits.