Gender Audit at D.Y.Patil University Navi Mumbai
Institutions of higher education in India today are at a critical juncture in relation to the basic ideals of equality enshrined in the Constitution. The recent expansion in higher education has made universities more demographically democratic than ever before, with growing diversity and heterogeneity among social groups. Women constitute 42 per cent of all students in higher education in India today. At the same time this closing gender gap hides on-going inequalities and disparities among women and men, which can only be approached with an intersectional analysis that combines gender with region, class, caste, religion, ability and sexuality among others.
Promoting equity through higher education has always been at the very heart of the agenda of the UGC and reflects its commitment to nurture and preserve democracy within spaces of learning. As per the mandate of the UGC, Universities have to conduct a gender audit in their campuses to ensure the Safety of Women on Campuses and Programs for Gender Sensitization.
The Gender Audit for the DY Patil University was conducted on the 10th of October, 2015.The 3 member peer team consisting of Dr.Dr. Sistla Rama Devi Pani, Editor, University News and Member Secretary Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi,Dr.ManaliLondhe, Director Students Welfare, Mumbai University and Dr. RekhaMahadeshwar, Member secretary, Women Development Cell, Mumbai University visited the University and its constituent schools.
The gender positive initiatives of the DY PatilUniversity were presented to the peer team by Ms. Vandana Mishra which detailed the infrastructure, policies and programs that make the University gender sensitive. This was followed by a question answer session wherein the experts asked in detail about the initiatives and their impact.
This was followed by physical verification of the Schools by the peer team. They first visited the School of Management, followed by the School of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine. They inspected the infrastructure and interacted with the members of the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
The expert team finally held an exit meeting with the Deans and Directors of all Schools and the ICC members where they expressed their satisfaction with the initiatives taken by the University and appreciated the efforts of the University towards maintaining gender equality and gender sensitization. The expert team also gave their valuable suggestions w.r.t. the further steps that can be taken by the University in this direction.