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New Delhi: After facing criticism from various quarters, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Saturday decided to suspend its circular on recruitment of pregnant women.

The SBI recently reviewed its ‘Fitness Standards for Recruitment in the Bank’, including norms for Pregnant Women candidates. Under the new rules, a woman candidate with more than three months pregnancy will be considered “temporarily unfit” and can join the bank within four months after delivery.

The move elicited criticism from various quarters, including from labour unions and the Delhi Commission for Women.

In view of the public sentiments, the SBI has decided to keep the revised instructions regarding recruitment of pregnant women candidates in abeyance and continue with the existing instructions in the matter, the bank said in a statement.

In its latest medical fitness guidelines for new recruits or promotees, the bank said a candidate would be considered fit in case of pregnancy which is less than three months.

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

SBI said that the revised guidelines were intended to provide clarity on various health parameters where instructions were not clear or were very old.

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