After several concerns raised by single mothers, Maneka Gandhi, the Minister for Women and Child Development, has written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and has requested him to alter the rule which makes it mandatory for Father's name to be mentioned on a student's degree certificate. Last year, at the behest of Maneka Gandhi, the Ministry of External Affairs had revised its passport application rules. Now it is no longer necessary for applicants to mention the name of both parents on the application form, thus enabling single parents to apply for passports for their children.
According to Press Trust of India, Maneka in her letter to MHRD wrote, "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."
In the letter she has highlighted that breakdown of marriages and separation of spouses is a reality nowadays and rules must be formulated to reflect this.
"Keeping in view the sensitivity of the single/separated mother, we need to make a provision for this purpose by changing rules/guidelines," the letter reads.
Last year, a petition was started on change.org by a single parent Priyanka Gupta who requested the Ministry of External Affairs that passport rules be changed so that she could apply for her daughter's passport without mentioning her husband's name. The petition was addressed to Maneka Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj. In response to the petition, Maneka had written to Swaraj and consequently a there member committee was formed constituting members from both the ministries.
After few months, Ministry of External Affairs changed the rules and declared that the name of only parent was sufficient and that married applicants would not have to produce marriage certificate and share their spouse's name if they were separated or divorced.