A senior professor of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), who was accused of sexual harassment by a doctoral student, has been instructed to take “compulsory retirement”.
The professor has been identified as Giridhar Madras, who was working with the chemical engineering department.
IISc Director Professor Anurag Kumar said the professor, who has been working at IISc for 20 years, was asked to leave after the institute’s governing council recommended disciplinary action against him.
The governing council’s verdict followed investigation by the institute’s internal complaints committee, which considered the harassment complaint filed by the student who was assisting the professor.
Giridhar Madras did not respond to any phone calls or messages.
The disciplinary action was directed under the central government service rules (Rule 11 of Central Civil Services Classification Control and Appeal Rules), which also govern disciplinary action against IISc employees for sexual harassment.
The profile of Giridhar Madras, which was on the IISc website a few days ago, has been removed by the authorities. With IIT-Madras as his alma mater, he has received many awards, including the CSIR’s esteemed Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (2009), J C Bose National Fellowship, and the IISc award for excellence in research.
In 2015, another professor named, S Durgappa, was asked to leave from IISc on the basis of an internal probe of a sexual harassment complaint filed by another student.\
In its 2017 policy statement on preventing and prohibiting sexual harassment at the workplace, IISc said it “believes that all its students deserve an education without fear from discrimination and sexual harassment, in order for their education to be more effective and valuable… The institute will not tolerate any form of sexual harassment and is committed to take all necessary steps to ensure that its women employees and students are not subjected to any form of harassment.”
In the earlier week, IISc Registrar V Rajarajan and members of the council had said that the ‘process of disciplinary action’ had been set in motion, and would take some more time to finish.