JNU to Review its New Sexual Harassment Policy, Students Unhappy

Barely a few months after JNU notified an amended sexual harassment policy, it has decided to review the revised rules. The administration’s decision to do so has not gone down well with a section of teachers and students, while the university is keeping mum over the reason behind the move.

JNU has Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), a central body which deals with complaints of the nature.

“The Vice Chancellor has constituted a committee to look into the revised rules and regulations concerning GSCASH and to examine and recommend necessary changes with immediate effect. However, while reviewing the GSCASH rules, the committee will ensure that the Workplace Act 2013 be adhered to,” an official notification said.

The university which received maximum number of sexual harassment complaints by any educational institution in Delhi in the last two years, had notified the revamped policy in October 2015.

Major amendments to the policy included introduction of a provision for protection of the complainant as well as witnesses from victimisation, besides a penalty provision for false complaints.

The revamped policy also had different clauses for ‘Sexual Harassment at Workplace’ and ‘Sexual Harassment in Academic Spheres’ and for re-appealing if the complainant is dissatisfied with university’s decision.

However, the university administration has again constituted a committee to review the policy.

Baffled over the varsity’s move Ayesha Kidwai, professor at JNU’s Centre for Linguistics, said, “The JNU EC has used these rules to punish a faculty member, besides other employees. The GSCASH has had no problem working with these rules. Yet our beloved administration feels that something needs to be changed and has appointed a committee quite mysteriously.”

(Courtesy: Press Trust of India)