Dalit, Bahujan, and Adivasi (DBA) students and faculty are routinely discriminated against by upper castes in all the IITs and other premier institutes in the country. Most of their experiences of caste-based discrimination go unreported, or unresolved if reported, because of lack of institutional support and empathy.
In light of the caste-based discrimination at IIT Kharagpur, where Professor Seema Singh called DBA students "bloody bastards", and the resignation of Professor Vipin P. Veetil because of caste-based discrimination at IIT Madras, we need joint, permanent SC, ST, and OBC committees to be established in each of the IITs. We need these committees implement UGC guidelines to protect the welfare of DBA students and faculty, and ensure the following:
1. The committee should consist of DBA professors, who are sensitive to CBD. It should be headed by a Chief Liaison Officer, from the DBA community. The contact details (email and mobile) of committee members should be made available on the institute website.
2. The committee should appoint DBA student representatives from each department and year who will amplify and follow-up on student complaints.
3. The committee should create an online portal where DBA students and faculty can make complaints regarding CBD perpetrated by upper caste faculty and students. The complaints should be resolved within a specific time frame (like 30 days).
4. The committee should provide a strict procedure of resolving the complaints, such as counselling, suspension, or termination of the offender.
5. The committee should ensure mandatory caste-sensitization workshops for all students and faculty, outlining the prohibition of casteist slurs (such as 'chamaar', 'bhangi' or 'shudra'), revealing someone's caste identity, abusive language and harassment, and discrimination through institutional protocol. It should outline the procedure for reporting CBD on campus, whether experienced or witnessed.
6. The committee should ensure that all departments are following the institute's reservation policy in faculty hiring and student entry.
7. The committee should create a mechanism (like reimbursement) for individual therapy and counselling for aggrieved DBA students and faculty who have undergone harassment.
8. The committee should meet at regular intervals, and give monthly reports to the Chairman, Director, and Deans.
9. An annual report of the committee should be published by the institute.