GUWAHATI, Oct 9 - The Directorate of Higher Education (DHE) has asked all colleges of the State to form a Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) or Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
A circular of the DHE came in the wake of a memorandum submitted by the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) recently. The DHE circular said that every college must form a GSCASH or ICC, the SFI State Committee said in a statement here.
The student body said it has been fighting for such committees in academic institutions of the State. This movement “compelled” the authorities of Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University to issue notifications for formation of such bodies in colleges. But, majority of the colleges under these universities failed to implement the directives. This made the SFI State Committee move the DHE with a memorandum, which resulted in the issuance of the circular.
The student body alleged that the governments both in the State and at the Centre have not been monitoring the rules to ensure gender justice at the ground level. They are simply confined to the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’, slogan.
After a historic judgement by the Supreme Court, the first GSCASH was formed at JNU, and the UGC asked colleges to take this as an example. This committee is completely different from a Women’s Cell. This is not just a complaint registering committee. The main task of this committee is to develop gender sensitisation against sexual violence and gender inequality by organising seminars and workshops. For this, the UGC has a separate budget. Similarly, The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 has made formation of ICCs compulsory.