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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

IIM-R bridges gender gap, inducts record 53% girls

Sat Singh, Hindustan Times  Rohtak, June 28, 2013
First Published: 15:14 IST(28/6/2013) | Last Updated: 15:18 IST(28/6/2013)

Even as Haryana continues to grapple with the ignominy of skewed sex ratio, the Indian Institute of Management - Rohtak (IIM-R) has offered a ray of hope.

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Unlike past when girls’ total percentage failed to cross even 10% mark in the institute, more than 50% girls have been inducted in the latest batch, fourth since the institute was established in 2010, this year.

How? To bring diversity in classroom discussions and improve their representation, the institute has increased grace marks being given to girls cracking Common Admission Test (CAT) from 20 to 30, which has taken up their representation to 53% from this academic session.

IIM-R director Prof P Rameshan said: “The new batch will start from July 1 and the increase in girls’ population will foster better peer learning.”

According to the amendments in the institute’s rule book, girls who “bell the CAT” are given 30 marks extra during the final selection procedure, including written analysis test (WAT) and personal interview out of total 600 marks. To induct more number of candidates from varied backgrounds, the same benefit will be extended to successful CAT candidates from non-engineering field. This means, if a girl from a non-engineering background is able to crack CAT, she will get the benefit of 60 grace marks against 40 last year.

A spokesperson for the institute said: “Generally, candidates from engineering background crack CAT owing to their strong aptitude, while candidates from other backgrounds lag behind. Providing grace marks to non-engineering candidates will help them enter the premier institute easily.”

The spokesperson said: “Besides providing excellent and world-class learning experience, the IIM-R equally shares the country’s concern over widening gender gap with a sympathetic approach.”

Notably, the institute’s first batch, which started in 2010, had less than 10% girls — three girls against 47 boys in a batch of 50 students. In the second batch in 2011, the situation remained almost the same with nine girls against 113 boys in a batch of 122 students. Similarly, in 2012 batch there were 12 girls against 113 boys in a batch of 125 students. This year, the number of girls has gone up to 74 against 66 boys in a batch of 140 students.

Likewise, the increase in grace marks’ benefit has helped take the percentage of non-engineering students up by 25%, which was less than 10% in the past three years.
 
Most gender-sensitive IIM
 
After inducting 53% girls this year, the IIM-R, of the total 13 IIMs across the country, has emerged as one of the most gender-sensitive management institutes located in the Jat heartland, notorious for gender insensitivity.

The institute shares the top position with IIM-Kozikode, Kerala, where the percentage of girl students has crossed 50% mark this academic session.


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