Women and Gender Development Cell (WGDC)

Internal Committee for Sexual Harassment at TISS


Introduction

The Internal Committee has to be constituted by TISS under section 4 of the UGC Regulations 2013. The Committee has to function as a Grievance Redressal Mechanism to address all complaints of Sexual Harassment by women students, employees and all other staff in the campus. The meaning of campus is extended as a “workplace” and according to Section 2 (o) it means:

“Workplace” means the campus of a HEI including-

  1. Any department, organisation, undertaking, establishment, enterprise, institution, office, branch or unit which is established, owned, controlled or wholly or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the appropriate HEIs;
  2. Any sports institute, stadium, sports complex or competition or games venue, whether residential or not used for training, sports or other activities relating thereof in HEIs;
  3. Any place visited by the employee or student arising out of or during the course of employment or study including transportation provided by the Executive Authority for undertaking such journey for study in HEIs

The Vishaka Guidelines against Sexual Harassment mandates that “it shall be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in work places or other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts, of sexual harassment by taking all steps required”. These guidelines have been further delineated in the Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) at Workplace Act 2013, in which it is outlines that sexual harassment constitutes the following:

  • Physical contact and advances; or
  • A demand or request for sexual favours; or
  • Making sexually coloured remarks; or
  • Showing pornography; or
  • Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature

Sexual harassment will include stalking and persistent efforts to meet, use social media-e-mail, facebook, whatsapp, smses, etc. to contact, malign a woman.

Composition of IC as given in UGC Regulations 2013 Section 4:


    • A Presiding Officer who shall be a woman faculty member employed at a senior level at the educational institution, nominated by the Executive Authority;
      1. Provided that in case a senior level woman employee is not available, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from other offices or administrative units of the workplace referred to in sub-section 2(o);
      2. Provided further that in case the other offices or administrative units of the workplace do not have a senior level woman employee, the Presiding Officer shall be nominated from any other workplace of the same employer or other department or organization;
    • Two faculty members and two non-teaching employees, preferably committed to the cause of women or who have had experience in social work or have legal knowledge, nominated by the Executive Authority;

    • Three students, if the matter involves students, who shall be enrolled at the undergraduate, masters, and research scholar levels respectively, elected through transparent democratic procedure;

    • One member from amongst non-government organisations or associations committed to the cause of women or a person familiar with the issues relating to sexual harassment, nominated by the Executive Authority.

  1. At least one-half of the total members of the IC shall be women.

  2. Persons in senior administrative positions in the HEI, such as Vice- Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Rectors, Registrar, Deans, Heads of Departments, etc., shall not be members of ICCs in order to ensure autonomy of their functioning. At TISS Chairpersons of Independent Centers who are at par with Deans will also not be included in the IC.

  3. The term of office of the members of the ICC shall be for a period of three years. HEIs may also employ a system whereby one -third of the members of the ICC may change every year.

  4. The Member appointed from amongst the non-governmental organizations or associations shall be paid such fees or allowances for holding the proceedings of the Internal Committee, by the Executive Authority as may be prescribed.

Responsibilities of the IC (Section 5):

  • Ensure that a fair dispute/ complaint and dialogue procedure is carried forward which does not undermine the complainant’s rights and also minimize the need for purely punitive actions which may cause further resentment, alienation and violence
  • Protect the identity of the complainant and also provide safe spaces like relaxation of attendance or transfer of employee to another department till the pendency of the hearing
  • Ensure protection of complainant and witnesses for prevention of discrimination and intimidation in any manner
  • Ensure prohibition of retaliation and adverse action against the protected individual (complainant)
  • Provide aid to the student or employee if she wants to file a complaint to the police.

Procedure for the IC:

Once a complainant files a written complaint the IC needs to undertake the following procedure:

  1. The Presiding Officer should meet the complainant to explain the procedure of the IC and also ask for any witnesses and evidence that she may want to bring for the hearing.
  2. The IC day, date and timing are decided based on the convenience of the external member and the complainant.
  3. Set up the Committee in the following manner:
    • If the complaint is by a staff against a faculty, then the IC has to have representative members from the staff, faculty (women and one SC/ST) and the external member
    • If the complaint is by student against a staff member then the IC has to include student representatives
    • If the complaint is of a faculty against the staff IC composition will be similar to (a)
    • At no point of time the male members will be more than women members in the IC. It’s imperative that at least half of the members are women.
  4. Share the copy of the complaint with the respondent, inform the day, date, time & venue of the hearing, give time of 10 days to prepare his defense and also ask him to submit documents, names and contact details of witnesses.
  5. The respondent should be asked to come for the IC hearing after having met the complainant, examined all evidence provided by her and heard her witnesses.
  6. All narratives by complainants, respondents and witnesses during the process should be recorded and signatures taken on that day itself hence each IC needs to ensure that all required equipment is available during the proceedings
  7. A final report of the entire proceedings should be prepared after the hearing and recommendations finalized with all members of the IC. The final report should have signatures of all members.
  8. The copy of the recommendations should be sent to both the complainant and the respondent for their information. Both parties can appeal (Sec 8 (3)) to the Higher authorities in case they are unhappy with the recommendations.
  9. The final report is to be submitted by the IC to the Director in Mumbai campus and to Deputy Directors in the off-campuses of TISS
  10. In case the Director or Deputy Director wants to reduce the actions recommended they would need to send a formal letter to the IC members, complainant and respondent explaining the reasons for the same (Sec 8 (6)).
  11. The final action taken notification shall be shared with both the complainant and the respondent officially either through email or by post by the Higher Authority i.e., the Director’s Office in case of Mumbai campus and Deputy Directors in case of the off-campuses.

Members of the Internal Committee, Mumbai Campus (2018-19)

Name Email Phone Number
Dr. Shewli Kumar
(Presiding Officer)
shewli4@tiss.edu 9833583540
Roja Pillai
(Member-Secretary)
roja@tiss.edu 9029001646
Dr. Mohua Nigudkar mohua.nigudkar@tiss.edu 9821415190
Dr. Swati Banerjee sbanerjee@tiss.edu 9833399724
Dr. Roshni S Nair roshni@tiss.edu 9820855478
Dr. Ketki Ranade ketki.ranade@tiss.edu 9860076567
Dr. Shailesh Darokar shaileshsd@tiss.edu 9223436817
Dr. Bal Rakshase bal.rakshase@tiss.edu 9226322182
Dr. Prerna Sharma prerna.sharma@sve.tiss.edu 9819498161
Minal Sawant minal.sawant@tiss.edu  
Anil Datar anil2k@tiss.edu  
Student Representatives (Elected every year)    
Dr. Chayanika Shah (External Expert)    
Prof Helen Joseph (External Expert)    
Prof Geeta Balkrishnan (External Expert)