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UGC asks universities to establish cells to deal with women harassment cases

Education NewsUGC circular issued on last week has even directed the universities and institutes to develop a page on their website to help the sexually harassed students and teachers to lodge their complaints and place a complaint on this score with the registrar or principal or the heads of the concerned institutes.

UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu in a circular to the universities in this regard has told the universities that whenever victims of sexual harassment file their complaints or such incidents come to their notice, the concerned authorities should immediately take action against erring persons.

“Principals, registrars or the institute heads should bring the incident and action taken on it to the notice of the UGC” Sandhu suggested, disclosing constitution of task force by UGC to review the existing arrangements for the safety and security of girls and women in particular and of the entire youth in general on the campuses of institutions of higher learning.

In his circular Sandhu said it is mandatory on the part of universities to have zero tolerance on campuses for gender based violence and harassment with a view to eliminating cultures of impunity and cultures of silence and complicity. “This separate cell should provide ongoing management advice, supervision and oversight as well as information material and senior officers or faculty members including registrar of the university , principal of the college to keep a close watch to ensure that such incidents do not occur at all” said UGC secretary.

UGC directed the universities and institutes to keep the complaint books to help the affected students in filing written complaints. This facility should be in addition to website and other facilities to file the complaints.

The UoM VC K S Rangappa said, “Already a committee exists in the UOM and action will be initiated to design a website exclusively for this issue. University has written to UGC seeking more details on the circular.

Source: The Times of India

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