HYDERABAD: It is a must for all universities, colleges, and schools in the State and country to have an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) to deal with sexual harassment, according to University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. Unfortunately, most educational institutions in the State do not have such committees to prevent and redress sexual harassment cases.
Dr Rajuben L Desai, a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW) who represents Telangana, and was on her two-day visit to the city to interact with ICC members of all universities of Telangana, expressed shock over the lack of ICCs, in most colleges and universities of the State.
Telangana has nine State universities, three deemed universities, three Central and five autonomous universities. In Hyderabad, there are around 487 colleges. Barring just a few of these educational institutes, not many have ICC panels, told the national commission member to Express.
“It is very alarming that only a few universities in the State have ICC panels and those are also just for namesake. During my interactions with ICC panel members of a few universities on Monday, apart from a few senior members, no one was aware of the technical procedure to conduct an inquiry into sexual harassment cases. It is a dangerous situation for the students and employees working at these universities and colleges in the State,” said Desai.
She lamented that since the ICCs got constituted in 2013, not a single training programme had been conducted by the Education Department or State Women and Child Department (WCD) for the training of ICC members.
On Monday, for the first time, the NCW conducted training for several members of the ICC panel from different educational institutes. “This shows the lackadaisical attitude of the WCD and State Education Department.
We will write to the Telangana Education Department, UGC, and WCD, urging all universities in the State to have proper functional ICC committees and take action against those who fail to comply with the ICC guidelines.
She added that the National and State Commission’s would also check the corporate sector in the city to see if they have ICC panels at the workplace or not.