Chennai: Following the sex scandal at the Aruppukottai College in which woman professor Nirmala Devi lured four girl students, the Tamil Nadu government decided to put up a grievance redressal mechanism in colleges and universities to deal with all kinds of harassment including sexual harassment in higher educational institutions.
“The vice-chancellors of Madras University P.Duraisamy and Tamil Nadu Open University Vice-Chancellor M.Bhaskaran will suggest new guidelines to safeguard the students from all kinds of harassments. The grievance redressal bodies are already in place in universities and colleges. But these guidelines are being evolved based on the court orders,” higher education secretary Sunil Paliwal said. The Delhi High Court has ordered the UGC to come up with new guidelines to prevent harassment of PhD scholars.
“The vice-chancellors will examine the new draft guidelines of UGC and guidelines of other institutions before suggesting new guidelines to prevent the harassment of students. Both men and women scholars are facing harassments,” he said.
The two-member panel is likely to submit its recommendations on April 23 and those recommendations will be sent to the universities and colleges for implementation.
Earlier, speaking to reporters at Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, he said, “The higher education department came to know about Nirmala Devi issue only through the media on April 15 following which the department has lodged a police complaint. Now both the Santhanam committee and police are probing the case.”
Anna University former vice-chancellor E. Balagurusamy has welcomed the move. “The harassment of girl students is happening in all universities. We have to save students from harassment. The VCs panel should also suggest proper guidelines for research guides like do's and dont's for them,” he suggested. He further said, “Every university should have a research overseeing committee which should have a woman member.
The committee should be empowered to deal with all issues related to the research students. The committee should also have powers to take remedial actions and bring the matters to the notice of higher authorities like Vice-Chancellors in the university.”...