New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)’s Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment was replaced by Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) recently by the administration. The JNU campus is on boil right after the decision of administration which was issued by the Registrar in a circular.
On Monday, September 18, the Executive Council of the University finalised the decision of replacing 18-year-old democratic GSCASH institution with immediate effect. The decision left varsity in anger and some section of the students, teachers and women groups decided to approach the High court in the matter.
Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment as a body in JNU formed in the year 1999. It was constituted on the recommendations of the Working Group on Sexual Harassment in 1997. However, in the year 2001, the rules and procedures of the committee were approved by the JNU Executive Council itself. The GSCASH consisted of four elected faculty members, of whom at least two were women, four elected student representatives, of whom at least two were women, an elected woman official as well as an elected woman staff member, among others.
However, the university administration has said that idea of disbanding the GSCASH and establishing a new institution is in order to be in line with UGC regulations from 2013, as well as the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act.
The rules and procedures of GSCASH were applied to all students, teachers and non-teaching staff. It also applied to the residents, service providers and outsiders who may be within the territory of JNU at the time attracting any violations of the GSCASH rules. In fact, any member of the university can be summoned for violating any prescribed codes of the committee and also in case of disclosing any confidential details. It holds the authority to serve notice to anybody if they found publicising the details of the complaint or the defendant. The ICC, however, will include only three student representatives, three faculty members, and two non-teaching staff members. Except for the students, all members will be nominated.
The website of the JNU has updated the names of six office bearer as member of newly establish ICC body, Prof. Vibha Tandon – Presiding Officer, Dr. Gautam K. Jha – Faculty representative, Dr. Manuradha Chaudhary – Faculty representative, Mr. Rajiv Kumar (S.E.) – Staff representative, Ms. Rajni Vaid (P.S.) – Staff representative and Ms. Mansi Gupta (NGO Sampurna) – NGO representative.
As per the last update, the Delhi High Court asked JNU to maintain status quo on the sealing of the office of a sexual harassment panel and sought its reply on a plea by some teachers and students challenging the decision to disband it. The next date for the hearing is scheduled on October 30.
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