Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH)
Following the guidelines on the prevention and deterrence of sexual harassment in the workplace laid down by the Supreme Court of India in its 13 August 1997 judgement on the Writ Petition (Criminal) Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan, the Vice-chancellor of JNU appointed a Working Group on Sexual Harassment headed by Professor Karuna Chanana on 5 September 1997. The Report of the Working Group was accepted by the Executive Council of JNU on 6 May 1998. The JNU Policy against Sexual Harassment was announced in a circular dated 25 February 1999, and the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) was set up vide a Jawaharlal Nehru University notification dated 16 April 1999.
The Rules and Procedures of the GSCASH were approved in principle by the JNU Executive Council (Resolution 6.7) on 28 September 2001. The GSCASH has three major functions: 1. Gender Sensitisation and Orientation, 2. Crisis Management and Mediation, and 3. Formal Enquiry and Redressal.
The JNU model became a standard for other educational institutions of the country to follow. The minutes of a high-level meeting held under the chairpersonship of Justice Shri J.S. Verma, Hon'ble Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, on 25 April 2001 to discuss the Role of Universities and Educational Institutions in Implementing the Supreme Court Guidelines, state under item (5), "The UGC should procure from the Jawaharlal Nehru University a copy of the guidelines which they had prepared in connection with combating the problem of sexual harassment in their University and examine whether the same could be replicated in other Universities as well".
The GSCASH has started functioning from its present office space since October 2001.
In order to incorporate the suggestions of the university lawyers as well as the experience gained during this period by the functioning of GSCASH, a revised draft of the Rules and Procedures was submitted by a committee chaired by Dr. Rupamanjari Ghosh set up for this purpose. These Rules and Procedures were further amended by a two-member committee headed by Prof. Ashok Mathur and submitted to the Executive Council on 30 May 2003. In its meeting on 11 November 2004 the Executive Council suggested that further amendments be made in accordance with a communication received by the University from the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India. The Mathur Committee therefore submitted a revised and amended set of Rules and Procedures which were ratified by the EC on 2 June 2005.
However, these new Rules and Procedures drew widespread criticism from the University community. In its meeting on 5 December 2005 the EC suggested that the Vice Chancellor constitute a Review Committee to analyze the responses received from different sections of the JNU community and to suggest amendments, if any, to the Rules and Procedures. The Vice-Chancellor constituted a Review Committee (vide Notification No.Acad.II/U/6(73) dated 24 February 2006) headed by Prof. Rupamanjari Ghosh with this mandate. After widespread consultations with the University community, this committee made its recommendations. The recommendations were incorporated and the new Rules and Procedures of GSCASH were ratified by the EC during a meeting on 11 April 2007 (Resolution no. 6.14), as per University notification dated 9 May 2007.
GSCASH Office No: 26704068
Room No-114, Administrative Building
OFFICE BEARERS (2012-13)
|Prof. Sangeeta Thapliyal||Chairperson|
|Prof. Ayesha Kidwai||Elected Faculty Representative|
|Dr. Chitra Harshvardhan||Elected Faculty Representative|
|Dr. Archana Upadhyay||Warden Representative|
|Dr. Arvind K. Mishra||Warden Representative|
|Dr. Reena Marwah||
Women Academician (from outside JNU)
|Adv. Rukhsana Choudhury||NGO Representative (from outside JNU)|
|Dr. Vikram Singh||JNUOA Representative|
|Mrs. Kavita Madanpotra||JNUOA Representative|
|Mr. Basant Lal Sharma||JNUSA Representative|
|Ms. Sulochana Meshram||JNUSA Representative|
|Ms. Minakshi Buragohain||JNUSU Representative|
|Ms. Dipti Tamang||Student Representative|
|Ms. Abhiruchi Ranjan||Student Representative|
LIST OF CHAIRPERSONS
|Ayesha Kidwai / Rupamanjari Ghosh||2000-2001|
|Sneha Sudha Komath||2005-2006|
|Dr. K. B. Usha||2008-2010|
|Dr. Meenakshi Sundriyal||2010-2011|
|Dr. Bhaswati Das||2011-2012|
25 February 1999
The Executive Council of the University at its meeting held on 6.5.1998 had considered and adopted a report of the Working Group on Sexual Harassment, chaired by Prof. Karuna Chanana. A component of the scheme approved entailed the adoption and announcement of a sexual harassment policy by the University. The said policy has since been evolved and is hereby announced:
"Sexual Harassment Policy of Jawaharlal Nehru University"
Jawaharlal Nehru University is committed to providing a place of work and study free of sexual harassment, intimidation or exploitation. It is expected that all students, faculty, staff, karamcharis and officials will treat one another and visitors to the University with respect. All members of the University community, including those who are in temporary or short term positions are subject to this policy. Anyone violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action.
Reports of sexual harassment are taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly. The specific action taken in any particular case depends upon the nature and gravity of the conduct reported. The University recognizes that confidentiality is important. The University will respect the confidentiality and privacy of individuals reporting or accused of sexual harassment to the extent reasonably possible. Reprisals against an individual who in good faith reports, or provides information in an investigation, about behaviour that may violate this policy, are against the law and will not be tolerated. Intentionally providing false information, however, is grounds for disciplinary action.
JNU is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Vigorous discussion and debate are fundamental to the pursuit of knowledge, and this policy is not intended to stifle teaching methods or freedom of expression. Sexual Harassment, however, is not the proper exercise of academic freedom, nor can it be protected as freedom of expression. It comprises the integrity of the University and its traditions of intellectual freedom, and it also violates the principle of the equality and dignity of all its members.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
It is implicitly or explicitly suggested that submission to or rejection of the conduct will be a factor in academic or employment decisions or evaluations, or permission to participate in a University activity, or when the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance or creating an intimidating or hostile academic work or living environment.
Determining what constitutes sexual harassment depends upon the specific facts and the context in which the conduct occurs. Sexual harassment may take many forms – subtle and indirect, or blatant and overt. For example,
· It may be conduct towards an individual of the opposite sex or the same sex.
· It may occur between peers or between individuals in a hierarchical relationship.
· It may be aimed at coercing an individual to participate in an unwanted sexual relationship or it may have the effect of causing an individual to change behaviour or work performance.
· It may consist of repeated actions or may even arise from a single incident.
What to do if you feel you are being sexually harassed
Know your rights – Sexual harassment is illegal, both the law of the land and JNU prohibit sexual harassment.
Speak up – If you can, tell the person to stop. State clearly and firmly that you want a particular behaviour to cease.
Get information and support – If you feel you cannot speak up, ask your friends to help you and bring it to the notice of the University. Keep records that might be useful for pursuing the case.
What not to do
Do not blame yourself. Sexual harassment is not something one brings on oneself. It is not a consequence of certain ways of dressing or acting. It is a violation of an individual's right to work and live with dignity.
Do not ignore it. Ignoring sexual harassment does not make it go away. The harasser may misinterpret a lack of response as approval of the behaviour.
Do not delay. Delay in action increases the probability that unwanted behaviour will continue or escalate.
Do not hesitate to ask for help. Speaking up may prevent others from being harmed as well.