Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The number of girls in Indian Institutes of Technology is set to cross the 2,000 mark in the next academic session as the government plans to increase the seats for women in India’s top engineering institutions. The women-only seats, or supernumerary seats, were introduced this year in order to increase the number of girl students in IITs, which continues to be heavily skewed in favour of boys.
In 2018, 1,062 girls made it to the IITs. But the government created 14 per cent, or 779 supernumerary seats, which took the number of girls in the IITs to 1,841, the highest so far. This year, 12,058 seats were on offer in the 23 IITs.Sources in the HRD Ministry said the success of supernumerary seats had prompted the government to increase it to 17% in 2019.
The government is hoping that the creation of around 900 girl-only seats will bring a remarkable change in the gender disparity on IIT campuses.“The plan was to take the total number of girls to 20% in B Tech programmes in IITs by 2020-21 but we are targeting to achieve this in 2019 itself,” the official said.
A committee under IIT Mandi director Timothy A Gonsalves had suggested creating supernumerary seats for women.In 2017, the girls’ admission percentage in B Tech programmes was a mere 9.3. But officials in the IITs said this year the presence of women was ensured even in streams that were earlier shunned by them.
“While girl students often prefer computer, electric and electronic engineering, this year they were given more options,” a senior Joint Seat Allocation Authority said.Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor at IIT Kanpur, said the authorities should look at larger interventions such as ending gender bias at the examination level
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