UGC Regulations to Prevent and Redress Sexual Harassment – NSUI to Undertake National Campaign from DU
NSUI as a responsible student representative body undertook a safety audit on Delhi University campuses to:
- Ascertain how safe or unsafe the students of Delhi University felt in spaces where they live and engage in academic pursuits, and to determine the prevalence of sexual harassment on campuses;
- To look into the status of the institutional mechanisms available for prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment cases; and to
- Recommend constructive measures with a view to plug in institutional gaps and improve implementation.
Our key findings are:
- High incidence of sexual harassment on or around campus, with 1 in 4 reporting sexual harassment.
- Almost 80% of the student respondents attributed unresponsiveness of the university/college administration as a key reason for unsafe campuses.
- Pervasive violations of UGC regulations for the prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment, 2015, in Delhi University.
- Not even half of the surveyed students were even aware of the Internal Complaints Committee, in their colleges.
- 22 colleges out of 50 colleges/departments surveyed flouted UGC guidelines to democratically elect student representatives to the ICC.
- 70% of the student respondents stated that the names and contact details of the ICC members were not prominently displayed in their college.
The NSUI led DUSU has the following recommendations to remedy this unacceptable situation:
- Zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment to be observed
- ICCs constituted without democratic elections to be scrapped and mandatory democratic elections of 3 students (of which 2 should be female students), to the ICC. Quarterly report on the functioning of the ICC, including complaints, received, enquired into and the action is taken to be made publicly available.
- Awareness regarding Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), its mandate, to be generated in freshman orientation and names of ICC members, their contact details to be prominently displayed in colleges/university with immediate effect.
- Link college accreditation and rankings to ICC functioning and gender sensitization efforts undertaken.
- Training on gender parity to be made mandatory in freshman orientation and must include training (for males) on consent.
- Gender sensitivity training to be undertaken on a war footing for all students, teachers, police personnel and administrative staff in colleges.
- Immediately appoint well-trained counsellors, employed full time in colleges, and also, at the University level. Quarterly report to be taken from them on the number of students they counselled, and the kinds of grievances that was sought by students. Utmost care should be taken to prevent a breach of student privacy.
- Start university special buses to ensure a safe, comfortable and affordable commute for students.
- UGC guidelines on self-defence classes to be implemented strictly and not in a cursory manner so as to really equip them with self-defence techniques.
- Street lighting to be installed in sensitive areas. This is of utmost importance for the safety of students in evening colleges.
- Clean toilet facilities across all colleges.
- Immediate crackdown on public drinking.
- CCTV cameras and guards in all DTC/public buses.
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