Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: India Workplace Equality Index)

Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: India Workplace Equality Index

India Workplace Equality Index

Why in News?

  • For the first time in India, the country’s ‘Workplace Equality Index (IWEI)’ has been rolled out for employers to check their progress on inclusion of people from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) communities at the workplaces. This workplace index is considered as the first comprehensive bench-marking tool for employers.


  • The IWEI has been brought to India by hotelier-activist Keshav Suri's non-profit Keshav Suri Foundation, along with Pride Circle an LGBT+ inclusion consultancy, Stonewall UK a British LGBT+ advocacy group and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
  • It’s now two years (2018) since the landmark repeal of Section 377, which decriminalised same-sex relationships in India. The next step is to open up access to work for LGBT people in the world’s second most populous country, and to support employers themselves to become more LGBT inclusive.
  • The index measures nine areas: policies and benefits, employee lifecycle, employee network group, allies and role models, senior leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and additional work.
  • Twenty-one firms won under the gold category, while 18 were placed under silver and 13 got bronze.


  • The shift in the understanding of homosexuality from sin, crime and pathology to a normal variant of human sexuality occurred in the late 20th century. The American Psychiatric Association, in 1973, and the World Health Organisation, in 1992, officially accepted its normal variant status. Many countries have since decriminalised homosexual behaviour and some have recognised same-sex civil unions and marriage.
  • Medicine and psychiatry employ terms like homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality and trans-sexuality to encompass all related issues, while current social usage argues for LGBT, which focuses on identities.

Section 377

  • Section 377 of Indian Penal Code is a 157-year old colonial law which criminalised homosexuality in India. The section was introduced in the year 1864 while India was under British Colonial rule.
  • The wrongs committed in relation to section 377 came under the ambit of ‘Unnatural Offences’.
  • Section 377 stated- whoever has voluntary carnal intercourse with a man, woman or an animal and which goes against the order of nature will be liable under for a criminal offence under section 377 of IPC.

Supreme Court Judgment on Section 377

  • The court while delivering the judgment laid down the following aspects, the highlights of the judgment of the case (Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India , 2018)-
  • Section 377 of IPC is arbitrary and irrational and hence it is liable to be struck down partially to the extent to which it criminalises consensual sex between two adults.
  • The court however laid down that a person indulging in any kind of sexual activity with that of animals will still be a criminal offence under section 377 of IPC.
  • Sexual orientation being a biological phenomenon, any discrimination which solely made on this ground would be held to be violative of fundamental rights of the citizens.
  • The LGBT community owns the same fundamental and human rights as others and shall not be discriminated in any way.
  • It is the duty cast on the court to protect and uphold the dignity of each and every individual in the society, the right to live with dignity is a fundamental right granted to each and every citizen by the Indian Constitution.
  • Section 377 of IPC was indeed used as a weapon to harass the members of the LGBT community and they were discriminated as against other citizens which would no longer continue to exist.