SBI withdraws controversial directive that barred pregnant women from joining service | State Bank of India Recruitment Rule | sbi job pregnant women

New Delhi: The State Bank of India on Saturday withdrew its controversial directive which banned pregnant women over 3 months from joining the service calling them ‘temporarily unfit’.

The directive had drawn criticism from various quarters. The political organizations and the Women’s Commission asked the bank to withdraw the notification.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) issued a notice to the SBI on Saturday calling for the directive to be withdrawn.

The notice states that the Commission has taken cognizance suo-moto of media reports on the development of “new guidelines” by the State Bank of India for “new recruitments and promotions”.

Citing news reports, the notice said that a recent circular issued by the bank on Dec. 31 “bars pregnant women over three months from joining the service, despite being screened through due process.”

In its latest medical fitness guidelines for new hires or promoters, the bank said a candidate would be considered fit if she was pregnant for less than 3 months.

“However, if the pregnancy is more than 3 months, she will be considered temporarily unfit and she may be allowed to join within 4 months of the delivery of the child,” in accordance with medical and ophthalmological fitness standards for new recruits and promoted dated December 31, 2021.

For recruitment, he said, the policy will be effective from the approval date of December 21, 2021.

The revised promotional standards will apply from April 1, 2022, he said.

Previously, candidates up to 6 months pregnant were allowed to join the bank under various conditions.

Conditions include provision of a certificate from a specialist gynecologist stating that her entry into the bank’s employment at this stage is in no way likely to interfere with her pregnancy or the normal development of the foetus, or n is not likely to cause her miscarriage or otherwise affect her health.

An email sent to the SBI seeking comment on the guidelines did not elicit an immediate response.

Binoy Viswam, CPI MP Rajya Sabha, has written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demanding the immediate withdrawal of the medical fitness circular issued by the SBI regarding guidelines for the recruitment of pregnant women, saying that “it undermines the womens rights”.

According to the General Secretary of All India State Bank Of India Employees Association, KS Krishna, the union had to ask SBI management to withdraw the guidelines.

“The proposed amendment by the bank is fundamentally prejudicial and against femininity. The proposed amendment will be unconstitutional as it discriminates against women, by treating pregnancy as a disease/disability.

“A woman cannot be forced to have a choice between having a child and working because it interferes with both her reproductive rights and her right to employment and such action cannot have its place in the era modern day,” he said.

Also in 2009, the same proposal was mooted by the bank but was withdrawn after much shouting, he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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