UGC Urges A Review of Any Ongoing Allegations of Sexual Harassment Against Women at The Workplace 

The Ministry has requested to observe discrimination against women pakhwada from November 25 to December 10, 2022, in addition to performing sensitization for their staff.

In a letter to vice-chancellors of all universities and deans of all colleges, the University Grants Commission (UGC) requested that particular efforts be made to educate their staff members on the terms of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act through seminars (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act, 2013).

In order to ensure that a particular drive is held in all autonomous organisations, public sector undertakings, and higher educational institutions, this is in compliance with a decision from the Ministry of Education. The Ministry has asked to observe discrimination against women pakhwada from November 25 to December 10, 2022, in addition to conducting awareness-raising seminars for their personnel.

Internal Complaints Committees have also organized a special drive to assess the open issues and take appropriate action before December 9, 2022.

“I request you to conduct a special drive to review the pending cases if any and take appropriate action before December 9. The details of programme/activities conducted by your institution may be provided to the gender sensitisation division of UGC by December 11, 2022,” the UGC secretary’s letter to vice-chancellors of universities and principles of colleges read.

It is important to note that the UGC has informed the UGC (Prevention, prohibition, and redress of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations, 2015 of its existence. These regulations are very specific about the duties of higher education institutions, the grievance resolution procedure, how to file a complaint and conduct an investigation, how to get a temporary remedy, how to get punished and compensated, how to deal with the consequences of non-compliance, etc. The rules are statutory in nature and obligatory for colleges and universities.

Key Highlights:

To promote a safe and secure environment for women at work, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal Act, 2013) was notified on December  9, 2013. Sexual harassment constitutes a breach of a woman’s fundamental rights to equality guaranteed by Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, as well as her freedom to engage in any activity, trade, or business and to conduct her profession in a sexually harassing-free atmosphere.

The protection against sexual harassment and the right to work with dignity are universally recognized human rights by international conventions and instruments such as the Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, which was ratified on June 25, 1993, by the Government of India.

(Source: OTV News)

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