University Grants Commission on June 05, 2023 has directed the Universities /Colleges/Higher Educational Institutions (HELs) to undertake following measures to prevent sexual harassement:
- To issue advisory to the Universities /Colleges/Higher Educational Institutions (HELs) to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and a Special cell in the institutions under your administrative control to deal with the issue of gender based violence and to conduct gender sensitization programmes.
- To display banners/posters at conspicuous places in the buildings to create awareness amongst employees about what is sexual harassment and how to prevent it.
- To display names and contact details of the members of the Complaints Committee at Notice Boards in the Institutions.
- To upload the (i) “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013”:- (ii) Constitution of the Committee and details of the Members of the Complaints Committee such as name, phone number, address etc. on their respective portals.
- To conduct training programmes to sensitize the employees of the Institutions.
Sexual Harassment results in violation of the fundamental rights of a woman to equality under articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and to live with dignity under article 21 of the Constitution and right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business with includes a right to a safe environment free from sexual harassment.
The protection against sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity are universally recognized human rights by international conventions and instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, which has been ratified on the 25th June, 1993 by the Government of India.
University Grants Commission notified University Grants Commission (Prevention, Prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations, 2015. These Regulations clearly describes responsibilities of the higher educational institutions, grievance redressal mechanism, process for making complaint and conducting inquiry interim redressal, punishment and compensation, consequences of non-compliance etc. UGC Regulations being statutory in nature are binding for universities and colleges.
The abovesaid directions are issued for implementation of the regulations and furtherance of protection of right against sexual harassment.