The Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has sought a change in rules that require father's name to be mandatorily mentioned for getting caste certificates, in case of children raised by single or separated mothers. Gandhi's move comes days within her approaching HRD minister Prakash Javadekar with a request to change the rule that requires father's name to be mandatorily mentioned on a student's degree certificate. In a letter to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, Gandhi said she has been approached by several women facing problems in getting caste certificates for their children without the name of the father from the jurisdictional offices. Stating that breakdown of marriages and separation of husband and wife is now a "reality" which cannot be ignored, Gandhi added, "What we need to appreciate is the fact that women in such situations often do not get their rights and entitlements due to certain loopholes in the procedures/laws." She said her ministry was working towards plugging these loopholes. "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 added. Last year, Gandhi had written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asking her to reconsider the rule of having the father's name mentioned for getting passports. Priyanka Gupta, a single parent, had initiated a petition last year on Change.
Org website, asking for passport rules to be altered so that she was not required to mention her husband's name on her daughter's passport. The petition was addressed to Gandhi and Swaraj. Months later, the MEA announced the revised set of passport rules and declared that the name of only one parent was enough and that married applicants will not have to produce a marriage certificate and share their spouse's name if they were separated or divorced.