The recommended changes in the framework of Panjab University’s Committee Against Sexual Harassment will be tabled for approval during the monthly meeting of the PU Syndicate on Sunday.
The proposal for a new framework has been put forward in order to bring Panjab University’s Committee Against Sexual Harassment (PUCASH) in line with the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
According to the proposals by a PU committee, in order to maintain confidentiality there should be no departmental committees to deal with issues of sexual harassment and all complaints relating to sexual harassment must only be directly forwarded to the chairperson of PUCASH.
Discussing the case of sexual harassment against the PU vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover by a woman professor of the university, the committee also observed that PUCASH should not allow any complainant (the vice-chancellor in this case) to sit as the judge in his own case. Further, it has been proposed that PUCASH should develop a framework to re-frame the role of the UT police in cases of sexual harassment reported at the varsity.
During its meeting on Sunday, the Syndicate is also expected to discuss the issue arising out of the letters written to PU chancellor and Vice-President Hamid Ansari by the woman professor, who had registered a complaint of harassment against Arun Kumar Grover. In her letters, she had raised an issue with the PU registrar for having furnished the replies sent by her to the UGC in front of the Syndicate.
Further, proposals for bringing about structural reforms in the functioning of the PU Senate and Syndicate will also be discussed. The proposals have been put forward by a committee headed by the president of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), Akshaya Kumar.
According to the recommended proposals, each Senate member should be allowed to opt for one major and two minor faculties and she/he should also be allowed to become a member of the Syndicate for not more than two terms.
The committee has also suggested that for the election of Syndicate members, the faculties should constitute an electoral college. The proposed recommendations, if approved by the Syndicate and Senate, will come for implementation from the next term of the PU Senate.
In addition to this, according to a proposal submitted by professor Rajesh Gill, the Syndicate is going to deliberate upon increasing the TA for research scholars, when they go out for research.
At present, the research scholars are only paid Rs 120 per day for food and accommodation. The Syndicate is also going to look into the appointment of another university official, in place of the late GK Chatrath, to prepare a note in consistence to an ongoing inquiry report.