The Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has decided to replace the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH). It is an 18 year old body, with an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The decision has been taken citing UGC regulations. For this, the university has put a stay on elections to the body, which were to be tentatively held end of September.
The composition of GSCASH includes:
1. Four elected faculty members of whom two are women
2. Four elected student representatives of whom at least two are women
3. One elected woman officer
4. One elected woman staff members, among others.
Students, teachers oppose the Move
The move has drawn criticism from teachers and students alike. The GSCASH, which was constituted by JNU in April 1999, varies from the ICC in that members to the former are elected, whereas ICC members are nominated by the administration. However, now in the ICC only three student representatives would be elected. Other than that three faculty members and two non-teaching would be nominated.
Why Move is Being Opposed
This, both teachers and students said would make the body susceptible to administrative influence. The JNU Teachers’ Association has also argued that the GSCASH is already complaint with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace
What JNUTA Argues
The JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA ) has also argued that the GSCASH is already in complaint with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act. And a simple change in nomenclature would have been enough. However, the JNUTA said it “strongly opposes this attempt to stack the complaints committee with VC’s nominees, and thereby to influence the course and findings of inquiry committees”.
JNU Register and Rector were not available to react or clarify on this move.