Nidhi Makhijani’s resolve to study at the Indian Institute of Technology began with her interest in computers. That resolve strengthened when Makhijani found she was one of the few girls determined to take on the JEE challenge.
“Since there are very few girls in the IITs, people would tell me I should try even harder to get in,” said Makhijani. “I sometimes feel I have something to prove.”
For her, the mystery behind the missing girls in the IITs is probably down to something more generic. “If the literacy ratio is lower among girls and if fewer girls opt to go for higher studies, then automatically even the ratio for entrance exams goes down,” she reasoned.
Growing up with a brother, who was always keen on systems and programming, and who later made it to the hallowed gates of an IIT himself, Makhijani said she always had someone to look up to.
And now, with female role models such as Aakanksha Sarda, an inspiration to Makhija herself, she pointed out that more girls could be inspired to follow her lead.
“Look at Sania Mirza. After her, so many girls picked up tennis,” she said. “Girls should be actively encouraged to go for the JEE.