My Journey on the road and of the mind ....

Month: July 2020 (page 1 of 1)

Media Guidelines on Suicide Reporting – India

The recent suicide of popular actor Sushant Singh Rajput has brought to light how ill informed the press is regarding sensible reporting of suicide and how efforts have to be made to spread suicide awareness and prevent copycat suicides.

WHO Guideline on Suicide Reporting Emphasises on the following points:

Quick reference for media professionals


• Take the opportunity to educate the public about suicide
• Avoid language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicide,
or presents it as a solution to problems
• Avoid prominent placement and undue repetition of stories
about suicide
• Avoid explicit description of the method used in a completed
or attempted suicide
• Avoid providing detailed information about the site of a
completed or attempted suicide
• Word headlines carefully
• Exercise caution in using photographs or video footage
• Take particular care in reporting celebrity suicides
• Show due consideration for people bereaved by suicide
• Provide information about where to seek help
• Recognize that media professionals themselves may be
affected by stories about suicide

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Karnataka CET Delayed after High Court Intervenes

Amidst rising cases in Karnataka, the court has asked for explanation by July 29th. The exams were initially scheduled for July 30th and 31st. Citing the daily increase of about 5000 COVID cases and enforcement of lockdown and other movement restrictions, the feasibility of conducting exams has been seriously questioned. Group fo students and NSUI and a few independent advocates had moved to the court. Karnataka govt had invited serious criticism for handling of COVID19 and citizens have voiced concerns regarding the availability of beds. Students hope that better sense prevails and exams are conducted at a later date when its safe and feasible without jeopardising the interests of the stakeholders.

AIIMS : Interview for Admissions ?

Interviews have served as tools to enforce discrimination. The recent issue of an AIIMS Student being awarded 1/20 Marks in interview raises questions about the procedure. PGIMER, Chandigarh, JIPMER, Pondicherry have done away with interview. NIMHANS has partially removed it. NEET ensures direct admission based on merit. Now why should AIIMS, continue to have interviews ?

Interviews have served as a tool to enforce discipline and restrict the rights of residents. Those who have sided with the administration to the detriment of their own health and that of fellow residents have been favoured by the administration and respective departments for admission to various courses.

Your views ?

Porn Addiction may lead to Erectile Dysfunction

A multi-national study concluded that, In addition to other factors, Erectile dysfunction can also be an indication that a patient has an addiction to pornography, said Tim Jacobs, MD, from the University of Antwerp in Belgium, during his presentation.

Jacobs and his colleagues looked at the association between erectile dysfunction and porn in a 5-month study of 3267 men from Belgium and Denmark. All men were 45 years and younger, and 50% were younger than 35 years. All participants completed a 118-question survey on their sexual health.

The researchers found “a clear negative relationship between the number of minutes of pornography watched and the degree of erectile dysfunction,” Jacobs reported.

Read the full article here

Vishaka Guidelines – Sexual Harassment at Workplace – India

Vishaka Guidelines against Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Guidelines and norms laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vishaka and Others Vs. State of Rajasthan and Others(JT 1997 (7) SC 384)


HAVING REGARD to the definition of ‘human rights’ in Section 2 (d) of the
Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, TAKING NOTE of the fact that the present civil and penal laws in India do not adequately provide for specific protection of women from sexual harassment in work places and that enactment of such legislation will take considerable time, It is necessary and expedient for employers in work places as well as other responsible persons or institutions to observe certain guidelines to ensure the prevention of sexual harassment of women.
Duty of the Employer or other responsible persons in work places and other institutions
It shall be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in work places or other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedures for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of acts, of sexual harassment by taking all steps required.

Definition


For this purpose, sexual harassment includes such unwelcome sexually
determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:
a) Physical contact and advances;
b) A demand or request for sexual favours;
c) Sexually coloured remarks;
d) Showing pornography;
e) Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct
of sexual nature
Where any of these acts is committed in circumstances where-under the victim of such conduct has a reasonable apprehension that in relation to the victim’s employment or work whether she is drawing salary, or honorarium or voluntary, whether in government, public or private enterprise such conduct can be humiliating and may constitute a health and safety problem. It is discriminatory for instance when the woman has reasonable grounds to believe that her objection would disadvantage her in connection with her employment or work including recruiting or promotion or when it creates a hostile work environment. Adverse consequences might be visited if the victim does not consent to the conduct in question or raises any objection thereto.

Preventive Steps

All employers or persons in charge of work place whether in public or private
sector should take appropriate steps to prevent sexual harassment. Without
prejudice to the generality of this obligation they should take the following
steps:
A. Express prohibition of sexual harassment as defined above at the work place should be notified, published and circulated in appropriate ways.
B. The Rules/Regulations of Government and Public Sector bodies relating to conduct and discipline should include rules/regulations prohibiting sexual harassment and provide for appropriate penalties in such rules against the offender.
C. As regards private employers, steps should be taken to include the aforesaid prohibitions in the standing orders under the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
D. Appropriate work conditions should be provided in respect of work, leisure, health and hygiene to further ensure that there is no hostile environment towards women at work places and no employee woman should have reasonable grounds to believe that she is disadvantaged in connection with her employment.

Criminal Proceedings

Where such conduct amounts to a specific offence under the Indian Penal Code or under any other law, the employer shall initiate appropriate action in accordance with law by making a complaint with the appropriate authority.
In particular, it should ensure that victims or witnesses are not victimized or discriminated against while dealing with complaints of sexual harassment. The victims of sexual harassment should have the option to seek transfer of the perpetrator or their own transfer.

Disciplinary Action

Where such conduct amounts to misconduct in employment as defined by the relevant service rules, appropriate disciplinary action should be initiated by the employer in accordance with those rules.

Complaint Mechanism

Whether or not such conduct constitutes an offence under law or a breach of the service rules, an appropriate complaint mechanism should be created in the employer’s organisation for redress of the complaint made by the victim. Such complaint mechanism should ensure time bound treatment of complaints.


Complaints Committee

The complaint mechanism, referred to above, should be adequate to provide, where necessary, a Complaints Committee, a special counsellor or other support service, including the maintenance of confidentiality. The Complaints Committee should be headed by a woman and not less than half of its member should be women. Further, to prevent the possibility of any undue pressure or influence from senior levels, such Complaints Committee should involve a third party, either NGO or other body who is familiar with the
issue of sexual harassment. The Complaints Committee must make an annual report to the Government department concerned of the complaints and action taken by them. The employers and person in charge will also report on the compliance with the aforesaid guidelines including on the reports of the Complaints Committee to the Government department.


Worker’s Initiative

Employees should be allowed to raise issues of sexual harassment at a workers’ meeting and in other appropriate forum and it should be affirmatively discussed in Employer-Employee Meetings.


Awareness

Awareness of the rights of female employees in this regard should be created in particular by prominently notifying the guidelines (and appropriate legislation when enacted on the subject) in a suitable manner.

Third Party Harassment

Where sexual harassment occurs as a result of an act or omission by any third party or outsider, the employer and person in charge will take all steps necessary and reasonable to assist the affected person in terms of support and preventive action. The Central/State Governments are requested to consider adopting suitable measures including legislation to ensure that the guidelines laid down by this order are also observed by the employers in Private Sector. These guidelines will not prejudice any rights available under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

EWS, OBC, SC/ST Reservation in India Q&A

Reservation or No Reservation ? Image Credits: LiveLaw

I am addressing the questions asked by my friends related to this issue and relevant news articles over twitter, facebook and email. Feel free to correct me where I am wrong.

Basis of Reservation ?

Available data shows that the demographics of people in power is not representative of the overall demographics. This is attributed to the discriminatory caste system prevailing in the country. So a system to ensure equal participation was put in place by devising a system called reservation or proportional representation system.

Is reservation anti-merit ?

If mere marks were to judge merit, we have to look beyond just marks. Experts acknowledge the limits of current exams and the opportunities to learn and coaching determines the scores rather than just individual ability. Unless opportunities are equal, exams cant be a real test of ability.