Varsity lax about issue of women's safety in colleges
Officials of the University of Pune administration are unaware of what the affiliated colleges are doing to ensure safety and security of women
On Friday, MiD DAY had highlighted the sorry state of affairs at the famed SP College (‘SP college turns into haven for goons as female students, teachers face frequent harassment’), where harassment and vulgar comments have become a common occurrence for the womenfolk. Now, it emerges that the problem is not relegated to one institute. That’s because the administration of University of Pune (UoP) is unaware about what its affiliated colleges are doing to ensure safety and security of women.
Even though it is mandatory for every college to form a special cell for female students to address complaints of harassment and abuse, the varsity has no data about how many colleges have these cells functioning effectively.
When MiD DAY contacted UoP’s Board of College and University Development (BCUD) Director Dr V B Gaikwad, who is supposed to supervise implementation of various schemes and policies in affiliated colleges, he said, “My department does not have data regarding these cells. You may get information from Students Welfare Department (SWD).”
However, the SWD wasn’t cognisant of the situation either.
In the backdrop of the Delhi gang-rape incident last December, University Grants Commission (UGC) had come up with a drive at the beginning of this year to review existing arrangements at colleges and higher education institutions to guarantee safety of female students on campus.
The review is part of the commission’s latest initiative of setting up a ‘Task Force’ to recommend measures for gender sensitisation on campuses across the country. As a nodal agency, UoP is responsible for implementing the guidelines of UGC in all 575 affiliated colleges. But, the varsity administration has failed miserably on this front.
“Yes, I am aware of the UGC directives,” said Gaikwad. However, he was not able to give details of compliance by colleges.