A. The Alliance Center for Women Empowerment (ACWE), Alliance University is committed to:
Addressing gender sensitivity issues through awareness programs
Providing guidelines and handling grievances of women employees and students against sexual harassment at the workplace or on campus
Collaborating with NGOs and other organizations
Initiating safety measures for women inside the campus
Holding capacity building programs for women entrepreneurs and self-help groups
Alliance University launched the Alliance Center for Women Empowerment at the Central Campus, Anekal on Monday, February 11, 2013. The Center was inaugurated by Mr. Sivakumar Mathada, Registrar, Alliance University and in presence of our esteemed guests, Dr. Selvie Das, Ex Vice Chancellor, Mysore University and Ms. Donna Fernandes, Managing Trustee from VIMOCHANA, Bengaluru. The Committee of ACWE is constituted vide notification No. AU/REG/Notification/2013/023 dated August 21, 2013 and vide modified notification No. AU/REG/Notification/2014/002. The term of the members is for a period of two years.
Dr. Nivedita Mishra — Chairperson
Professor Zohra Bi — Member
Ms. Kalpana Chakravarty — Member (NGO nominee, VIMOCHANA)
B. Supreme Court Judgement: Vishaka & Others Vs State of Rajasthan & Others
The Supreme Court of India in its August 13, 1997 judgment in Vishakha & Others Vs. State of Rajasthan & Others makes it obligatory for every employer and other responsible persons to follow the guidelines laid down by the Court and to evolve a specific policy to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. Educational institutions are bound by the same directive. In lieu of the Supreme Court judgment, Alliance University has adopted the above policy to prevent, prohibit and punish offenders for sexual harassment of women at the workplace. The University is also committed to providing safety for all women who fall within its jurisdiction, academic and non-academic staff women as well as girl students making it a place to work and study—free from sexual harassment, intimidation and exploitation.
C. Aims and Objectives
To implement and aim to fulfill the directive of the Supreme Court of India against sexual harassment of women at workplace
To avoid gender discrimination among all employees and students
D. Sexual Harassment Against Women at Workplace
On August 13, 1997, the Supreme Court of India held that sexual harassment of women is a violation of the fundamental rights of women to work in a safe environment. According to the Supreme Court guidelines, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome, sexually determined behavior (whether directly or by implication) as follows:
Physical contact and advances
A demand or request for sexual favors
Any other unwelcome, physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature
According to the Code of Conduct at Work Place prepared by the National Commission for Women in 1998, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually determined behavior by any person either individually or in association with other persons or by any person in authority, whether directly or by implications as follows:
Jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment
Innuendo and taunts
Gender based insults or sexist remarks
Unwelcome sexual overtone in any manner such as over telephone (obnoxious telephone calls) and so on
Touching or brushing against any part of the body
Displaying pornographic or other offensive and derogatory pictures, cartoons, pamphlets or sayings
Forcible physical contact or molestation, and
Physical confinement against one's will and any other act likely to violate one's privacy
E. Procedure for Registering a Complaint and Immediate Action
The complainant is encouraged to bring the complaints in person and the complaint should be given in writing. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.
Only in exceptional cases a third party or witness compliant in writing will be accepted.
The complaint should be given to the Disciplinary Committee of the University and a copy should be given to the Chairperson, Alliance Center for Women Empowerment.
Once such complaint is received, the Enquiry Committee shall proceed to enquire into the grievances.
Complaints can be lodged directly to the Chairperson, Alliance Center for Women Empowerment or with any member of the Center and will be forwarded to the Disciplinary Committee of the University for immediate action.
If the complaint is made through any other member of the Center/Vice Chancellor/Registrar/Dean/Director, then the person to whom the complaint is made should bring it to the notice of the Alliance Center for Women Empowerment within two working days of its receipt.
On receipt of the written complaint, the Chairperson, Alliance Center for Women Empowerment will initiate discussion to resolve the dispute. The Minutes of such discussion will be recorded and in cases where an enquiry is not being conducted the reason will be cited in the Minutes.
If the dispute cannot be resolved through discussions, the enquiry committee shall be set up by the Chairperson within eight working days.
The Enquiry Committee comprises:
One member from the School or College of Alliance University from where the complaint is reported.
One member from any other School/College of Alliance University.
One member from the Alliance Center for Women Empowerment.
Among the three-member Committee, there will be one male member representative. The Enquiry Committee will be led by a woman employee with NGO representation by VIMOCHANA.
F. Commencement of Enquiry
The Enquiry Committee shall investigate into the incident to find out if the accused is guilty and determine the nature and extent of the offence.
To determine what constitutes sexual harassment will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
The Enquiry Committee shall submit its report to the Chairperson, Alliance Center for Women Empowerment within three weeks of its appointment.
G. Grievance Resolving Procedure
The Disciplinary Committee will make complete investigations regarding the complaint and if it is considered to be a matter of sexual harassment then it will be reported to the Alliance Center for Women Empowerment. The Committee will take further action against the alleged as per the rules and regulations of the University.
If there is a case against the alleged then the Committee of the Alliance Center for Women Empowerment may recommend suspension till the issue is settled.
In case the alleged is found guilty, the Committee may recommend appropriate action to the Dean or Director of the Schools/Colleges and the matter will be referred to the Registrar, Alliance University for orders.
The Registrar will suggest measures to the Pro Vice-Chancellor or Vice Chancellor.
On a case to case basis, the Committee may seek the advice of a lawyer in order to suitably advise the complainant to lodge a First Information Report with the concerned Police Station. The complainant shall then keep the Committee informed about progress of the complaint.
The complainant shall have the right to appeal to the Honorable Chancellor, Alliance University if not satisfied by the action taken by the University.
Efforts will be made to resolve the dispute through counseling and mediation.
H. Disciplinary Action
An employee or student guilty of sexual harassment shall be liable to give a written apology to the victim. Other actions would be:
A strict warning letter to the student or employee indicating the offence.
If the case involves a faculty and a student, then guidance and mentoring would cease immediately.
Withholding or withdrawing all associated benefits of the University for the student or employee such as scholarships, fellowships, memberships, extra allowances and so on.
Suspension or expulsion from the hostel or quarters with immediate effect.
Rustication of the student from classes as specified by the Chairperson and for employees from the University, suspension from the School or College.
Termination of the employee without indicating the notice period.
The Alliance Center for Women Empowerment at the University will make all efforts to :
Create a safe environment for women at workplace.
Offer counseling services to women to deal with any issues that may arise from time to time ranging from family, children, workplace and so on.
Enhance and enrich the experience by involving women in the various domains and activities at the University.
This document is published for the benefit of all the women stakeholders: faculty, staff and students of the University.