A senior professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), who was accused of sexual harassment by a doctoral student, has been asked to take “compulsory retirement”.
The professor has been identified as Giridhar Madras, who was 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 decision followed investigation by the institute’s internal complaints committee, which looked into the harassment complaint filed by the doctoral student who was being guided by the professor.
Giridhar Madras did not respond to phone calls or messages.
Last week, IISc Registrar V Rajarajan and members of the council had said that the “process of disciplinary action’’ had been set in motion, and it was yet to reach closure.
The disciplinary action was ordered 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.
A profile of Giridhar Madras, which was on the IISc website a few days ago, has been taken down. An alumnus of IIT-Madras, he has received numerous awards, including the CSIR’s prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award (2009), J C Bose National Fellowship, and the IISc award for excellence in research.
The professor, who did his doctorate from the US, has been described as “greatly contributing to the development of the chemical engineering field’’ since 1994 and has been highly cited for his research work.
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 2015, another professor, S Durgappa, was sacked from IISc on the basis of an internal probe of a sexual harassment complaint filed by a student.