Hyderabad: Panel asks University to note sexual assaulters in TC

The petition states that it should be explicitly marked on the transfer certificate if he/she is expelled on the grounds of sexual assault.

Hyderabad: Gender sensitisation committee members have come in support of an online petition stating that if a student gets involved in a sexual assault case and is asked to leave a University, the transfer certificate should clearly mention that he/she was ousted for his/her involvement in the assault. The petition has raised the demand that such people should no longer get an opportunity to continue in Universities.

Currently, while a student is found guilty of sexual assault, he/she is given a transfer certificate without mentioning any reason, giving him an opportunity to join another University. This will lead other Universities to think that the student was ousted for low marks, other reasons etc.

The petition states that it should be explicitly marked on the transfer certificate if he/she is expelled on the grounds of sexual assault. “It is painful when university authorities try to cover up the matter in case of a sexual assault and ask the student to leave, giving him a dignity to do so. He can walk out with a TC during the middle of the year.

It doesn’t make a difference because the same student can claim that he had personal reasons to leave the course midway and join elsewhere during the next academic year. Even the code of conduct certificate will read fair,” says a gender sensitisation committee member.

However, the petition also raised the need to address the problem of professors who are also involved in sexual harassment cases. In light of the ‘Me Too Campaign’ in 2017, a campaign naming academicians who were involved in sexual harassment cases also began.

The campaign surprised many as a few, well known academicians with years of experience were named and there were multiple complaints against them. However, they still continued teaching in the same university.

Arpita Sen, a women activist, said, “Many students do not raise their voices against faculty members and even if they do, there is a compromise done at the head’s office to ensure that the institution's reputation is not tarnished.

Even if an institution sacks a professor, they do not dare to write that he is a sexual offender and the same professor joins another teaching position in another state which he can get easily because of his experience in the field. Public naming and shaming is needed and a sexual offence should not be taken lightly. It should remain as a black mark on the certificate of the person concerned.”

Although the recently released NCRB data does not categorise repeat offenders, on the basis of sexual offence, the number of offenders who repeat the crime, is on the rise. In Telangana, the number of repeat offenders is 13,605 which is one of the highest in the country.

Priya Reddy, a psychologist, said: “In sexual cases such as these, we should ensure that the student gets the right counselling. Letting him get away with his act and giving him admission in another institution is a grave error because he will feel a sense of power and since he escapes punishment for the first time, he will continue to behave in the same way.

Moreover, the confidence will also cause the student to behave worsely. The issue should be addressed with right punishment, counselling and the new institution should check the mental health of the student before letting him join.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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