#MeToo: IISc takes action against top scientist for sexual harassment allegations

This month, a PhD student at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, had complained that a senior academic had sexually harassed her.

According to reports, an internal committee took immediate cognisance of the complaint and stressed that “IISc has always taken strong action”. The woman had alleged that the professor had made several sexually coloured remarks and relentless phone calls to her late at night.

The professor against whom the allegations have been made, who cannot be named because of IISc’s internal policy, has a doctoral degree from the US and is a recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, and is a J.C. Bose National Fellow.

“He is listed among the top 1% of scientists by the (research platform) ISI Web of Knowledge and is serving in senior editorial capacities across several top-rated science journals,” an Economic Times report said.

The academic at the centre of the storm in the prestigious institute has been associated with IISc since 1998. According to ET, his scientific work has “resulted in more than 500 publications, 15,000 citations and an h-index of 55, the highest among all engineering faculty in India”.

In its 2017 policy statement on preventing and prohibiting sexual harassment at the workplace, IISc states that 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”.