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JNU to rejig its sexual harassment policy

To ensure fair and timely redressal of sexual harassment complaints, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is all set to revamp its policy. The policy rehaul assumes significance in wake of a statement made by HRD Minister Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha that the maximum number of sexual harassment in educational institutions complaints have been reported in Delhi.

JNU, which has Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), a central body that deals with complaints of this nature from across the university departments, already has a draft of the revised policy in place. The draft prepared by the GSCASH has been sent to the vice-chancellor and will be placed before the university’s Academic Council (AC) and Executive Council (EC) in its next meeting.

“We observed that the sexual harassment policy we have at JNU needed to be updated in accordance with the 2013 guidelines of the Supreme Court,” said Geeta Kumari, a GSCASH member.

The proposed draft has different clauses for sexual harassment at workplace and in academic spheres. “It has also been proposed that we do away with the earlier clause that every enquiry committee constituted to hear the sexual harassment complaint will be headed by a woman member only,” she said. 

The body has also proposed increasing the number of elected members by double.

“We have suggested that the current strength of members should be increased to 20-24 from 10-14,” Kumari said. The draft also takes into account provisions for false complaints.
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