KSPP’s Commitment to Building a Harassment-Free Environment

Building an Enabling Learning Environment

The Kautilya School of Public Policy envisions a safe, comfortable and productive learning environment which encourages healthy communication and interaction between and amongst students and staff. We recognise the role of our community in building this environment through our actions and practices. Being mindful of our role in creating and sustaining this environment can help prevent distressing experiences and foster healthy relationships.

We recognise that part of the task of building this environment is through our behaviour and its impact on others. Kautilya’s staff and students are from a variety of backgrounds. As we participate in the formal and informal lives of the School, we must approach each other in a spirit of sensitivity and empathy. In order to foster this spirit, we suggest certain practices and habits that might be useful to students/employees in guiding their behaviour. These suggestions are not intended to foreclose healthy debate or engagement; rather they are intended to allow people of all comfort levels to participate equally in the activities of the School. These lists are not exhaustive, but indicate the kind of behaviour we encourage at Kautilya.

Don’ts

  • Don’t assume that everyone is comfortable with language or conduct which you are comfortable with.

    For instance, slang used in casual conversation between friends may be offensive and derogatory in other contexts or with other people; hugs or other physical contact may not always be welcome. Be thoughtful about the language and gestures you use.

  • Don’t assume that everyone’s boundaries align with yours.

    For instance, discussing topics like abuse and violence might be difficult for some. Think about how to make these discussions easier and less stressful for all people concerned.

Dos

  • Do ask if people are comfortable with physical contact and/or discussing sexual and other sensitive topics.
  • Do think about the degree of friendship or kind of relationship the other person might be interested in having with you.
  • Do be open about what you feel is appropriate behaviour from others and tell them when they are crossing boundaries.
  • Do respect others’ wishes and opinions.

Kautilya Against Sexual Harassment

Following our desire to foster a healthy learning environment, Kautilya undertakes prompt and appropriate corrective action in coordination with the GITAM Internal Complaints Committee against issues of sexual harassment.

According to the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (2013), known as POSH Act, sexual harassment includes “any one or more” of the following “unwelcome acts or behaviour” committed directly or by implication:

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

Click here to know more about the details of POSH Act, 2013

Kautilya believes that sexual harassment is any behaviour of a sexual nature that affects the dignity of women, men and other genders, which is considered as unwanted, unacceptable, inappropriate and offensive to the recipient, and that creates an intimidating, hostile, unstable or offensive work environment. We encourage our community to take this issue seriously and raise their concerns whenever necessary. An Internal Complaints Committee has been set up by the GITAM university for the Hyderabad Campus. This committee has jurisdiction over issues relating to Kautilya.

In case of concerns or complaints, please contact the Programme Manager. Shivangi@kautilya.org.in.