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JNU replaces gender sensitisation body, invites students' ire

Students and teachers, however, slammed the move, citing the fact that the functioning of ICC will have an administrative influence as its members were being nominated by it. All GSCASH members were elected.

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JNU replaces gender sensitisation body, invites students' ire
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The ongoing tussle between the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration and its students escalated on Monday after the varsity officially replaced the sexual harassment complaint body, Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), with an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), citing University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations, 2015.

During an Executive Council (EC) meeting held on Monday, the administration scrapped the existing GSCASH, an 18-year-old body, and officially adopted ICC. GSCASH was an autonomous body to look into complaints of sexual harassment. It was formed under the Vishakha guidelines.

"GSCASH has been replaced by the ICC on Monday and it will immediately take over the functioning of the latter. Elections for ICC's three student representatives will be held soon," JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar said.

Students and teachers, however, slammed the move, citing the fact that the functioning of ICC will have an administrative influence as its members were being nominated by it. All GSCASH members were elected.

"The administration tried to seal the GSCASH office and take over all the files. But we did not let them. How can we trust them with such confidential files? Why is the administration so interested in taking over them?" asked JNU Student Union (JNUSU) President Geeta Kumari, who herself was a part of GSCASH.

"ICC can never be like GSCASH as it will not be independent," she said.

Meanwhile, the administration also issued the names of six nominated ICC members, including present JNU Chief Proctor Dr Vibha Tandon as its Chairperson, which, according to students, is a violation of the UGC regulations, 2015. "The regulations state that no member holding any position of power in the administration can be made an ICC member, to prevent misuse and abuse of power," Kumari added.

Members of the recently dissolved GSCASH also issued a list of selected candidates for election of its student representatives. "We are yet to decide what will be done about the elections since the body itself has been dissolved by the administration," the JNUSU President said

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