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' Harassed' scholar knocks on Pranab door.

ARESEARCH scholar at NIT, Jalandhar, has knocked on the doors of President Pranab Mukherjee, alleging sexual harassment by her seniors.

The step, she said, had been taken after the district administration, NIT authorities and the State Women's Commission didn't pay heed to her complaint.

Ruchi Bhatia ( name changed), a PhD student of Chemical Engineering Department, has written to the President, alleging that head of the department Prof Ajay Bansal and her guide Dr Neetu Divya tried to harass her. She said Dr Divya used to compel her to evaluate students' answer sheets, besides passing on her exam and teaching duties to her.

" Some of the answer sheets even have my signatures. When I objected to do it, she started harassing me and did not even sign my stipend form. The payment of my stipend has been withheld for four months because of this," she told M AIL T ODAY . Bhatia said Prof Bansal tried to sexually harass her many times and invited her to his residence.

" Bansal used to say that students should make some compromises. He asked me to go to his house for some personal work. He told me that madam ( Dr Divya) also goes to his residence," she said.

She alleged that Dr Divya and Prof Bansal conspired to jeopardise her career and Dr Divya refused to be her guide in the middle of her research work.

Bhatia said she had not received any response from NIT director Dr Samir Kumar Das despite having complained to him about the issue several times. She had also sent a complaint to Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Shruti Singh and the State women panel on June 17,2013. No action has been taken by the authorities yet.

Bhatia hails from Ujjain.

Asked about the harassment case, Dr Bansal termed the allegations baseless and false.

NIT Director Dr Samir Kumar Das said a committee led by Prof S Ghosh had been constituted to investigate the allegations by the scholar.

Took the step after NIT authorities and state women's commission didn't pay heed to her complaint


.. July 29, 2013:

A research scholar in Panjab University's Department of Tibetan Studies alleged that her guide sexually harassed her for one year. The case came to light after she decided to discontinue her PhD and asked the Vice- Chancellor of the university to strike off her name. When asked why she wanted to leave in the middle of her doctorate, she narrated her horror stroy to the V- C. A committee is probing the matter.

.. May 2, 2013:

Two Panjab University professors allegedly pulled the arm of an assistant professor and hurled abuses at her. The two were later re- instated after a panel probing the matter declared them " innocent".

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 7, 2013
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