Colleges across the state will soon adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment of women on campus. Offenders will face stricter punishments and in certain cases be barred from college for an academic year.
The state higher and technical education department is framing the rules for establishing what it terms eve-teasing-free campuses. They could be in place as early as next month.
The department is putting together the rules in line with the state’s anti-ragging law. Under the anti-ragging act of 1999, students found guilty are rusticated from college and not given admission in any other college for the next five years. There is also a provision for imprisonment of up to two years, and a fine.
State higher education minister Rajesh Tope has decided to frame the anti-harassment rules after several NGOs working with teenagers from colleges have come across a growing number of cases of women being harassed.
“Even in urban cities such as Mumbai there are several harassment cases, where the girls refrain from talking about the issue. Students must share a feeling of respect and have healthy friendships in colleges,” Tope said.
The state plans to set up committees in colleges, which will attend to complaints from girls and also look at counselling the students.