Policy on Sexual Harassment

After the enactment of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressed) Act, 2013 and its notification by Government of India, University of Delhi issued notification No. Estab.II(1)/27/ACC/2006/ dated 9 January, 2014 declaring that the provisions of this Act supersedes the University Ordinance XV-D. Further, vide its Notification No. Estab.II(i)/027/ACC/2006 dated 16 January, 2014 the University of Delhi constituted its own Internal Complaints Committee as required under the Act and directed all colleges/institutions under it to constitute their own Internal Complaints Committees.

According to the Act of 2013, the University of Delhi is committed to maintain and create an academic and work environment free of sexual harassment for students, academic staff and non-teaching staff of University of Delhi.

Sexual Harassment shall include, but will not be confined to, the following:

  • When submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature are made, either implicitly or explicitly, a ground for any decision relating to employment, academic performance, extracurricular activities, or entitlement to services or opportunities at University of Delhi.
  • When unwelcome sexual advances, verbal and non-verbal and/or physical conduct such as loaded comments, remarks or jokes, letters, phone calls or e-mails, gestures, exhibition of pornography, lurid stares, physical contact, stalking, sounds or display of a derogatory nature that have the purpose and/or effect of interfering with an individual's performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
  • When a person uses, with a sexual purpose, the body or any part of it or any object as an extension of the body in relation to another person without the latter's consent or against the person's will, such conduct will amount to sexual assault.
  • When deprecatory comments, conduct or any such behavior is based on the gender identity/sexual orientation of the person and/or when the classroom or other public forum of the University is used to denigrate/discriminate against a person or create a hostile environment on the basis of a person's gender identity/sexual orientation.

Internal Complaints Committee (ICC)

At the level of College, all complaints of these nature, are to be routed through the Internal Complaints Committee, to be comprised of:

  1. A Presiding Officer - a woman employed at a senior level at the workplace from amongst the employees. [Sec.4 (2) (a)]
  2. Not less than two Members - from amongst the employees preferably committed to the cause of women OR who have had experience in social work OR have legal knowledge.[Sec.4 (2) (b)]
  3. One Member - from amongst NGOs OR associations committed to the cause of women OR a person familiar with issues relating to sexual harassment.[Sec.4 (2) (c)]
  4. One half of the total Members nominated should be women. [Sec.4 (2) (c)].
  5. Under the UGC guidelines of May 2016, as directed by the University of Delhi, the membership has extended to include three elected student members and two nominated non-teaching members.
  6. The Presiding officers and Members will hold office for a period not exceeding three years. [Sec. 4 (3)] The Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) so constituted will carry out its responsibilities as contained in Chapters (IV) and (V) of the Act.

Students' Representation on ICC

The UGC (Prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations 2015 stipulates the composition of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in Section-4.

As per the UGC Regulations 2015:

  1. There will be nine members on ICC: a Presiding Officer, two faculty members and two non-teaching employees, one member from amongst non-government organisations or association and three students.
  2. Three students will be elected through transparent democratic procedure.
  3. The term of Office of the members on the ICC shall be for three years, HEIs may also employ a system whereby one-third of the members of the ICC may change every year.

The Staff Council, Miranda House of 14 December 2018 noted that the Ordinance XV-D also provided for three students' representation on the College Complaints Committee (redressal committee under the Ordinance). The process laid down by the Ordinance XV-D provided for a mechanism which was transparent and democratic. At the same time, the procedure of election produced sensitisation because of greater involvement of students. The Staff Council, therefore, adopted that the same procedure for electing the three students' representation on the Internal Complaints Committee.

Election of three students' representatives to ICC

  1. Every year, three student representatives shall be elected to ICC from a Gender Sensitising Committee of students comprising one elected representative of each class. At least one of the three representatives should be a second year graduate student.
  2. Election schedule:
    • Last date for nomination (duly proposed and seconded): 1st week of September
    • Withdrawal : 2nd week of September.
    • Polling: 3rd week of September
    • A minimum interval of three working days should be given between the stages. In any case, the whole process shall be completed on or before 25th September.
  3. Mode of Elections:
    • The first stage for the election of the student representatives, i.e. electing from each class a member of the GSC, can be done over a period of a week.
    • Election will be through secret ballot.
    • Three students polling maximum number of votes will be elected as representatives. The student representatives include at least one from 2nd year in the ICC.
    • The elections will be conducted by the Principal as Returning Officer and Convenor, Women Development Cell as Presiding Officer.
    • At the time of counting the votes, candidates/ a nominee of each candidate can be present as an observer.