KSPP’s Commitment to Building a Harassment-Free Environment

1. The Kautilya School of Public Policy (KSPP) aims to create a safe, comfortable and productive learning and working environment for all students and staff. It recognizes sexual harassment prevents the creation of such an environment and therefore takes steps to prevent and redress instances of sexual harassment.

2. KSPP recognises that all members of its community must contribute to the creation of a safe, comfortable and productive learning and working environment, and must therefore take steps to understand and combat sexual harassment.

3. KSPP defines sexual harassment as any acts which include but are not limited to the following:

  1. When submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature are, implicitly or explicitly, made a term or condition of teaching/guidance, employment, promotion, participation or evaluation of a person’s engagement in any University activity;
  2. When unwelcome sexual advances, and/or verbal, non-verbal and/or physical conduct such as derogatory comments on physical appearance, character etc., loaded comments, remarks or jokes, letters, phone calls, text messages or e-mails, gestures, exhibition of sexually explicit or offensive material in any medium including pornography, lurid stares, physical contact, stalking, sounds or display of a derogatory nature have the purpose and/or effect of interfering with an individual’s performance or of creating a hostile environment;
  3. When deprecatory comments, conduct or any such behaviour is based on the gender identity/sexual orientation of the person(s) and/or when the classroom or other public forum or academic activities of the University is used to denigrate/discriminate against person(s), or create a hostile environment on the basis of a person’s gender identity/sexual orientation;

Explanation: A “hostile environment” is said to be created when any act of sexual harassment has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, education or living environment.

4. KSPP, therefore, establishes a Committee Against Sexual Harassment (CASH), under the norms laid down by the University Grants Commission in the Saksham Measures for Ensuring the Safety of Women and Programmes for Gender Sensitization on Campuses, 2013.

4.1 The composition of the CASH will be as follows:

A presiding officer who shall be the senior-most female faculty member employed by KSPP

Two members of the KSPP/GITAM Hyderabad campus teaching staff

Two members of the KSPP/GITAM Hyderabad campus non-teaching staff Student representatives: one from the KSPP MA first year batch; one from the KSPP MA second year batch; one from the KSPP PhD programme.

One external member with legal expertise or experience working on women’s/gender issues or experience working in an NGO that works on women’s/gender issues.

4.2 The CASH shall a) act to sensitise the KSPP and all residents of GITAM Residence for block-C Residents on issues of sexual harassment, gender identity, sexual orientation, gender discrimination etc. and b) act to redress complaints raised regarding specific instances of sexual harassment and c) act to assess the gender-sensitivity of the KSPP community from time to time.

4.2.1 CASH shall conduct at least one gender-sensitization programme every trimester.

4.2.2 Procedure for handling complaints

(a) Complaints may be raised by anyone, whether enrolled/employed at KSPP or not.

(b) Complaints may be made against any KSPP student or KSPP employee or resident of GITAM Residence for block-C Residents. Complaints may be regarding incidents in KSPP/Block C premises or at any place where KSPP employees/students are present in any official capacity including but not limited to conferences, seminars, field visits, internships etc.

(c) Complaints may be made to the CASH via its email, or orally to any CASH member (in which case the complaint will be reduced to writing by the CASH member). CASH members may also take suo moto cognisance of instances of harassment a. with the consent of those who have faced harassment or b. where the person(s) facing harassment are unable to make complaints

(d) Complaints may be made by persons of any gender, against persons of any gender.

(e) On receipt of a complaint, CASH will examine the complaint. CASH may ask for oral/written testimony from the complainant, the person/persons against whom the complaint is made (respondent/respondents), and any other persons.

(f) At least half the members of the CASH should be present for the examination of a complaint. Of these, at least half should be women.

(g) During or prior to the examination of a complaint, the CASH may recommend interim actions (e.g. removal of the respondent from supervisory positions especially over the complainant, removal of access of the complainant to KSPP facilities, etc.)

(h) After the examination of the complaint, CASH will present a report of the complaint and its recommendations (if any) to the Dean, KSPP. Recommendations should be endorsed by at least 2/3rds of the committee members who examined the complaint. The presentation of the report should take place within sixty (60) days of the receipt of the complaint. Recommendations made will be binding on the Dean, KSPP and must be acted upon within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of the report.

(i) The details of the complaint (including but not limited to the text of the written complaint, testimony of complainant(s), respondent(s), and witnesses, details of the occurrence, status of the complaint, etc. should be kept confidential by committee members. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in removal from the CASH and disciplinary action if recommended by CASH.

(j) If the respondent is a member of the CASH, they will be relieved of all CASH duties till the report of the complaint is presented to the Dean, KSPP. Their access to CASH communications (email, google drive, etc.) and documents (previous reports, documents pertaining to ongoing complaints, sensitisation events etc.) will also be revoked during the period of the examination of the complaint.

(k) If the complainant is a member of the CASH, they will be relieved of all CASH duties till the report of the complaint is presented to the Dean, KSPP. Their access to CASH communications (email, google drive, etc.) and documents (previous reports, documents pertaining to ongoing complaints, sensitisation events etc.) will also be revoked during the period of the examination of the complaint.

4.3 CASH shall maintain a record of all its activities and shall present an annual report of all activities, complaints etc to the Dean KSPP. The presiding officer shall be responsible for the maintenance of records and preparation/submission of reports. Other members may be asked to assist in the maintenance of records and preparation of reports.

4.4 The CASH email should be checked once a day. One member will have the responsibility of checking the email. This member will be determined on a rotational basis and will change once a month. CASH is to be informed of emails regarding complaints/any other mails which require action to be taken, by this member.

4.5 CASH members shall meet in person at least once a trimester. Other discussions/coordination etc may take place over email.

4.6 CASH will ensure the prominent publicity of the Sexual Harassment Policy.

You can reach out to them for any issues with regard to Sexual Harassment and in ensuring KSPP is an inclusive and welcoming place of learning.

  • Dr. Vasudha Katju
  • Prof. Amrendra Pandey
  • Dr. Parul Thapar
  • Ms. Neelam Mehra
  • Ms. Shivangi Pandey
  • Dr. Kanica Rakhra
  • Dr. Prageetha Raju
  • Ms. Aishwarya Bansal
  • Mr. Nishant Puniani
  • Ms. Vaibhavi Awasthi
  • Dr. Prageetha Raju

Contact – cash@kautilya.org.in