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Most Higher Education Institution overlooked Women Safety: UGC Report

 04-MAR-2014

Suggested Readings: Education News, Education

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An UGC survey has revealed that a majority of institutions have not created policy against sexual harassment.

The report released by University Grants Commission named as - The 'Saksham' report has found that India’s higher educational institutions are not only uncaring towards the rights and safety of women after much appalled Nirbhaya Case, but have also not indulged in any sort of moral policing in the campus.

The state Maharashtra brought most respondents with having procured answers from 275 higher educational institutions to the questionnaire. The second state with most responses is Karnataka at 266. While in Tamil Nadu, out of 2,410 colleges and 55 universities, only 84 responded.

The report has mentioned that 83.5% of total responding institutions have denied receiving any sexual harassment related complaints.

When asked about the current arrangements made on campuses against it, near about 50% respondents have answered that a committee (including anti-ragging committees) is set up.

On the Contrary, most affiliated colleges especially in the remote or rural areas have no mechanism against sexual Harassment. Besides, situation in private universities is even worse as they do not have a monitoring system as informed Dr Kamakshi Bhate, professor at Seth GS Medical College and KEM hospital.

Surprisingly, around 10% respondents claimed to have CCTV cameras Installed,  18.5% have female security guards, 26.6% boast a vigilance committee while 10.9% have patrolling guards to keep a watch.

The helpline number for any such complaints is noticed to be existed only in 4% institutes on which a women students and faculty could call while mere 8.3% have a complaint box installed.

The UGC in 1999 had directed all Indian universities and institutes to comply with the Vishakha guidelines in order to deal with any complaints of sexual harassment. The same is mentioned by the law for the protection of sexual harassment of women at the workplace.

The Survey has given some guidelines and recommendation, following to which UGC has issued a fresh directive to all universities and colleges, which they all have to comply with.

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