The State Bank of India has withdrawn a 30-year-old norm, placing certain restrictions on immediate posting to pregnant women in the bank.
SBI sources here said a recent circular from the bank's headquarters stated that pregnancy need not be considered a bar for giving immediate postings to women candidates, who had passed the written test and interviews.
It said the norms formulated long back on the premise that due to reasons, pregnancy normally results in indifferent health and is a hindrance in discharge of one's duties.
In view of the advancement in medical sciences and changed lifestyles, the medical community felt that women are able to take up work even during pregnancy. So women candidates should be permitted to join the bank in their first two trimesters (upto first six months of pregnancy), the revised norm said.
Women and youth outfits in Kerala, especially pro-left forums, had recently organised protests against the earlier norm, dubbing it as "grossly discriminatory against women."
Kerala Chief Minister V S Acuhthanandan had also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention for withdrawal of the "discrimnatory norm."
The State Bank Staff Union welcomed the decision. "It has always been our position that it went against gender justice and it is good that the management has withdrawn it at last", K Raja Kurup, SBSU general secretary, Kerala circle, told PTI.