Recently, JNU decided to discontinue the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) and the reason cited by the university for such a step is the compliance with the UGC regulations. As a result of the decision the University also put a hold on the elections to the body which were due in two weeks.
GSCASH is an 18 year old committee with the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
The move by the University has draws criticism from the teachers and students alike.
The GSCASH comprises of four elected family members out of which two are women, four elected student representative out of which two are women and one elected women officer and one elected women staff member, along with the other members.
After listening the news of discontinuing GSCASH, the JNU Teachers' Association urged that GSCASH is already compliant with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act and a simple change in the nomenclature would have been enough.
In a letter dated September 12, JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar said, “Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act, 2013) and the University Grants Commission (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of Women Employees and Students in Higher Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2015, asnotified by MHRD on May 2, 2016, provide for constitution of an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) replacing the existing mechanism of GSCASH. The UGC Regulations, 2015 are mandatory for all Higher Educational Institutions (HEI).”
“In this connection, the University has decided to constitute the ICC after discussion on this issue in the last Executive Council meeting. The matter for adoption of the Government of India Act 2013, UGC Regulations 2015 notified by Ministry of Human Resource Development in May 2016 will be taken up at the Executive Council meeting to be held on September 18. In view of the above, all components of the University, the teachers, students and staff, are hereby informed that any election to GSCASH hereinafter called as ICC, should be kept on hold till further notice,” headded.