In the wake of several dowry-related deaths in Kerala in the last four months, various universities in Kerala have made it essential for students to sign a declaration promising not to seek or pay a dowry when they marry.
The students applying for admission to Calicut University's colleges will now be required to sign an anti-dowry declaration stating that they would not give, ask for, or accept dowry during their marriage. The varsity has already issued instructions to its associated institutions' heads regarding the new mandatory rule.
In July, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan proposed the concept, which the state administration later endorsed. At their convocation event last week, 386 students from Kerala University for Fisheries and Ocean Studies in Kochi signed a declaration before accepting their Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
"We have made it mandatory for all students to sign it before accepting their degree or Master's certificates. The Governor had put forward this suggestion and we accepted it immediately," said M K Jayaraj, vice-chancellor of Calicut University, as reported by Hindustan Times
Can Cause Withdrawal Of Degree
The proclamation further stated that the degree would be revoked if a person were proven to have taken or given a dowry.
In recent months, the state has reported a wide range of dowry-related deaths. In June, the suicide death of a 24-year-old woman, an undergraduate student of ayurvedic medicine and surgery at Kollam, sparked a countrywide outrage.
In Thiruvananthapuram, a newlywed woman, a nursing student, has committed suicide by lighting herself on fire. Parents claimed they were pressured for dowry and then killed in both incidents. Following their deaths, horrific information of several harassment and torture incidents emerged.
"College heads are also required to acquire declarations from students who have already been admitted for the 2021-22 academic year," according to the regulation. The declarations, like the anti-ragging declaration, must be signed at the time of admittance. The declarations' formats, together with the order, were forwarded to the college heads," said Denoj Sebastian, director of the varsity's Directorate of Admissions, as reported by The New Indian Express