Published: 10th September 2019
Sexual harassment at IIT Kanpur: Which colleges in India have been hit by #MeToo scandals?
Hit by #MeToo allegations are some of the most famous educational institutes of the country – IIMC, IISc, Symbiosis Law School Hyderabad, whose names made headlines for quite sometime
In light of the #MeToo movement that took India in its stride, some of our most prestigious educational institutes have not been spared. As students and alumni still continue to come forward and speak about their experiences of sexual harassment at the hands of authorities, professors, and fellow students, more and more cases are coming up. On Tuesday, September 10 alone, two cases of assault came to light.
A foreign girl student levelled allegations of "inappropriate conduct" against a faculty member, prompting the IIT-Kanpur to remove him immediately from his teaching responsibilities, the institute said on Tuesday. The IIT-K administration has started investigating the matter following the complaint of the girl.
On the same day, a professor of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) has been suspended by the varsity authority for allegedly sexually harassing a student seeking admission to a post-graduate programme. In her complaint lodged with the chairperson of the AAU's Women's Harassment Cell on September 6, the student alleged that she was sexually harassed by the teacher on the pretext of showing her the availability of seats.
And that's not all. Other cases that popped up after #MeToo are at some of the most famous educational institutes of the country – Indian Institute of Mass communication (IIMC), Delhi’s National Law University, Symbiosis Centre of Media and Mass communication (SCMC), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Madras Christian College, Madurai Kamaraj University and IIT Roorkee are some of the many names that made headlines last year and in the past few months. While some of them took immediate action against the perpetrators, others delayed the process to serving justice to the agitated and shaken students.
Five professors at IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand, were accused of sexually harassing two students and an American scholar, in December last year. A research student accused two professors of harassing her. According to several news reports, in her complaint to the police, she accused the director of the institution and the dean of not taking action against the accused. The police had also received an email from an American Scholar and a text message from another student at the institution regarding harassment by three faculty members.
A well-known scientist and academic at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was accused by a doctoral student, under his guidance, of sexual harassment in October last year. The researcher, Giridhar Madras, was sent on "compulsory retirement" over the allegations by the institute's governing council. Later his compulsory retirement was set aside by the Karnataka High Court.
The Symbiosis Law School at Hyderabad rusticated two fourth-year BA LLB students – Apoorva YK and Snigdha Jayakrishnan — who spoke against assistant professor Srinivas Methuku on Facebook, accusing him of 'constant ogling and causing discomfort'.