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PCS INTERVIEW - 8-9TH MAY


PROTECTION OF WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE BILL 2012
  • The Cabinet has cleared the amended Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2012.
  • Sexual harassment results in violation of the fundamental rights of a woman to equality underarticles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India and her right to life and to live with dignity under article 21 of the Constitution and right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business which includes a right to a safe environment.
ABOUT BILL:
  • The bill provides protection not only to women who are employed but also to any woman who enters the workplace as a client, customer, apprentice, and daily wage worker or in ad-hoc capacity. Students, research scholars in colleges and universities and patients in hospitals have also been covered.
  • The bill mandates setting up of Local Complaints Committee (LCC) at district levelwhere a victim of sexual harassment can lodge complaint
AMENDMENT:
  • Domestic workers to be covered under anti-sexual harassment Bill.
  • The Bill also does not put the burden of proof of innocence on the employer and gives the employer and the complainant of harassment equal chance to seek justice.
DEFINITION OF WORKPLACE:
  • The draft Bill defines workplace as offices in government, private sector and places a woman visits by air, rail, land or sea during the course of her job.
The bill ensures a safe environment for women at workplace — be it public or private, organized or the unorganized sector. Four million domestic workers in the country will now get legal protection against sexual harassment at workplace.

NATIONAL ACCREDITATION REGULATORY AUTHORITY FOR HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS BILL 2012
  • The Cabinet has cleared a crucial Bill which, for the first time, proposes mandatory accreditation for all higher education institutions in India by law.
SALIENT FEATURES:
  • The Bill provides for mandatory assessment of human and physical infrastructure of institutions before they commence academic operations and accreditation of the academic quality of their programmes after completion of six years of existence by independent accreditation agencies.
  • The Bill seeks to establish a statutory authority for registering and licensing accreditation agencies and regulating the process of accreditation in the country.
  • Eight-member authority (instead of four proposed earlier); one member each from SC, ST, minorities; and more women in the authority.
  • Headship of the proposed regulatory body to be given to a serving national research professor instead of a Cabinet Secretary as proposed earlier.