With 600 seats, IITs look to fill gender gap | education | Hindustan Times
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With 600 seats, IITs look to fill gender gap

The IIT Council, which is the highest decision-making body for tech schools, approved last year the creation of supernumerary seats to increase girls’ enrolment from 8% to 14% in the 2018-19 academic session, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21.

education Updated: Mar 18, 2018 22:47 IST
Neelam Pandey
A senior HRD official said objections were raised by an IIT on the proposed method to have more seats for girls
A senior HRD official said objections were raised by an IIT on the proposed method to have more seats for girls(HT File Photo)

The Indian institutes of technology (IITs) are likely to have over 600 more seats, compared to a total of about 11,000 in 2017, and the focus will be on enrolling more women students this year, said a senior official of the human resource development (HRD) ministry.

According to the senior official, who doesn’t want to be named, the ministry had asked the 23 IITs in the country to submit seat matrix details and how many additional seats would be created from this academic session. An increase of more than 600 seats was discussed at a meeting of the joint admission board (JAB) on Saturday that IIT directors and senior HRD ministry officials attended.

The board has also decided to conduct the JEE-Advanced test online from this year, doing away with the traditional pen-and-paper system. The IITs will hold the JEE Advanced test on May 20. The IITs were asked to create supernumerary seats for girls and were directed to ensure adequate hostel facilities for them.

The move came after a panel constituted by the JAB of the IITs filed a report painting a grim picture about the biases that women continue to face in India.

A move to create special seats for girls was also discussed at length at Saturday’s meeting.

The senior official said objections were raised by an IIT on the proposed method to have more seats for girls. “The senate of an IIT said the move may reduce the number of seats for boys. The issue was discussed and the methodology was explained to everyone. Now everyone is on board,” said a senior IIT director requesting anonymity.

The IIT Council, which is the highest decision-making body for tech schools, approved last year the creation of supernumerary seats to increase girls’ enrolment from 8% to 14% in the 2018-19 academic session, 17% in 2019-20 and 20% in 2020-21.

Several IITs expressed concern over accommodation. “Though the senate has approved the scheme they had raised concern over lack of hostels for girls. As the HRD ministry is keen on introducing the supernumerary seats from this year, we are creating accommodation in the vicinity,” said another IIT director, who also doesn’t wish to be named. The proportion of women in IITs has been fluctuating in the past few years — from 8.8% in 2014 and 8% in 2016 to 9.3% in 2017.