Bihar Governor Satya Pal Mallik today said girl students faced with teasing, molestation or any other form of sexual harassment at their universities could report the matter “directly to the Raj Bhavan”, where officers have been deputed to help the victims get justice.
The Governor, who is also the chancellor of state universities in his ex-officio capacity, made the announcement here at a conference organised by office-bearers of students’ unions of all the varsities in Bihar.
“It is our dharma to ensure that our women live with honour. Girls studying at universities can report any incident of teasing/molestation, etc directly to the Raj Bhavan. They can do so without first approaching the police station concerned,” Mallik said.
“At Raj Bhavan, there are officers who have been asked to devote themselves to attending such complaints. They have been given special telephone numbers. Once they receive a complaint, they would provide all possible help to the victims, including getting FIRs lodged,” the Governor said.
He also said the Bihar government was sensitive to the security and safety of girl students, and almost all campuses now have CCTV cameras installed. “These may deter miscreants from behaving badly, besides making detection of perpetrators easy”.
The CCTV cameras may also turn out to be yet another deterrent for teachers “notorious for absenteeism”, whose attendance is already being tracked by the bio-metric system, Mallik said.
The Governor underscored the importance of students’ unions, stating that “most of today’s leading political figures in the country had started off as student leaders”, and “often one gets to learn more about life inside the office of a student union than inside a classroom”.
He urged students to take advantage of the Nitish Kumar government’s schemes like students’ credit card and emphasised on the need to “raise our universities to a level so that our institutions find a place among world’s top 100”.
Speaking at the same conference, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the state government was committed to raise the quality of education being provided at universities, and that a separate commission was being set up for recruitment of teachers.
He said that unlike in the past, teaching staff was now being paid salaries on time and the academic sessions have been regularised.
A former student leader himself, Sushil Modi said, “It is essential for our youths to understand that student politics is an opportunity to serve the people and not a route to acquiring power.