Last month, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) found itself at the centre of criticism by the RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya . This month, it is in the news for the dubious distinction of topping the list of universities in reporting sexual harassment cases.
Twenty-five cases were reported from the prestigious JNU in 2013-14, the highest among 104 higher education institutions from where such matters were reported, say University Grants Commission (UGC) data.
This information was submitted by Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, who, in a written reply to a member’s question in the Lok Sabha, said that as per the UGC, 295 cases of sexual harassment have been reported during 2014-15 in various institutions of higher learning.‘Cases rigorously examined’
Vice-Chancellor of JNU Sudhir Kumar Sopory said that despite the statistics, the campus continues to be a safe place for women.
“Our committee on gender sensitisation against sexual harassment goes through all complaints received and we get about 17 cases per year and they are rigorously examined,” Mr. Sopory said.
According to a PTI report, during the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, there were 15 cases of sexual harassment reported in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, and 10 cases in Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Sciences, Allahabad.
Nine cases were reported from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow.
There were eight such cases reported in the University of Mumbai and Viswa Bharati, Santi Niketan, Birbhum, during this period.