Girls from the Bombay zone improved their performance at the Joint Entrance Exam- Advanced (JEE-Advanced) this year, with 551 girls qualifying compared to 491 last year and 327 the year before.
The Bombay zone includes Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and parts of Karnataka and Rajasthan. However, qualifying for the exam does not automatically mean candidates will be eligible for the next round.
The gender ratio of girls at the Indian Institutes of Technology has been a point of concern for several years now.
"Everybody says getting into the IITs is tough for girls but I'm glad I could prove them wrong," said Charmi Dedhia, who ranked 108. "With a tough maths section, I was very anxious about my score. The answer keys were vague and this increased my anxiety." She hopes to pursue electrical engineering from IIT Bombay.
Last year, in a bid to ensure greater gender parity at the institutes, the IITs had waived the online application fee and reduced the offline application fee for girls.
However, the performance of girls overall has declined, with 2,392 from across the country qualifying (getting ranks on the merit list) this year, compared to 2,886 last year.
In a possible first, two girls featured in the top 10 in the merit list. Aditi Laddha from Delhi zone ranked sixth, while Sibbala Leena Madhuri from the Madras zone came in at eight. "This is the first time this has happened, as far as I know," said Tom Mathew, JEE chairperson, IIT Bombay.