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Sexual harassment at Christ University

"Another 3 minutes, baby"

This was the response of the proctor when a student at Christ University, Bengaluru asked if she could end the examination after having submitted her document. When the screenshot of this inappropriate comment was shown to the university faculty, one faculty member described this as a “caring response”. They advised the student to “take it in the right spirit”.

Here’s what happened:

Christ University’s faculty members invigilate online exams through a third-party app called Mettl. The app takes an audio-visual recording of the exam session.

This issue of sexual harassment came to the limelight on social media and revealed that there is not one, but multiple instances wherein the proctor, protected by anonymity, has made inappropriate remarks or requests to students. In one such instance, a student was asked to lower her camera angle while giving the exam. She was even threatened that she would be accused of malpractice if she did not comply.

It is concerning that the university not only brushes off this abuse of faculty members’ power but even encourages students to accept this behaviour as a ‘caring’ one. It is also extremely disturbing that the proctors are faculty members – teachers who engage with students regularly. This creates an unsafe environment for students to be in, and this lack of accountability is unacceptable!

We demand that:
  • The Internal Committee at Christ University start an investigation to identify the faculty members exhibiting inappropriate behaviour as proctors
  • The IC submit the post-inquiry report to the school administration with strong recommendations for ensuring student safety in the future
  • That the identified proctor(s)  be dismissed immediately from the university 
  • Sensitisation training for faculty members to ensure that they do not refer to sexual harassment as ‘caring’ behaviour

This is not the first time where a proctor has misused their power in an online examination setting to behave inappropriately towards students. In January this year, a proctor recruited by Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai used the contact numbers of students to send them personal messages on WhatsApp. Students here were also asked to lower their camera angles.

Public pressure made the administration of NMIMS sit up and take action against this form of harassment. Sign the petition and ensure Christ University does the same!

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