Lack of uniform guidelines in universities for sexual harassment cases

Indian origin

New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University has received 51 complaints of sexual harassment, out of the 101 cases submitted to the Internal Complaints Committees (ICCs) in 16 universities and institutes in India, since 2013.

According to Swati Maliwal, DCW chairperson, the guidelines provided to various institutes to deal with complaints of sexual harassment are not uniform.

The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) submitted reports showing that six of its cases are still waiting to be resolved. The Commission summoned the registrar of the Delhi University as its case data hasn’t been submitted yet.

source: The Hindu
source: The Hindu

The DCW report stated that resolution was carried out regarding most cases via settlement, and those cases which warranted punishment, were given so leniently.

“We have written to the University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resource Development to frame uniform guidelines under the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013,” said Maliwal, The Hindu quoted.

Maliwal observed that most of the universities were not provided with funds to implement the Act, “barring JNU, which allocated Rs 3 lakh per annum, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and IGNOU, which earmarked Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50,000 per annum respectively.”

“Others have stated that the administration gives the fund from their budget as and when required,” added Maliwal. The Act has been violated in the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and the National School of Drama, and notices and summons have been forwarded to these institutes by the Commission to address them.

Taking into account the case details submitted by educational institutes and universities, the Commission is planning to send across recommendations to the Central and State governments on how the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013, can be implemented better.

Only 16 institutes submitted the required data to the Commission from among the 23 that the Commission had asked for.

“This exercise would aid the Commission to work towards ensuring effective implementation of the Act and as a result make Delhi safer for women,” said Maliwal.

(Inputs from The Hindu)