IIT admissions: Number of women joining engineering goes up in 2017 - Hindustan Times

IIT admissions: Number of women joining engineering goes up in 2017

Jul 15, 2017 06:35 PM IST

A number of IITs had put a special focus on reaching out to female candidates.

Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have registered a better representation of women this year- from 8% in 2016 to 9.3 % in 2017. The percentage growth in the proportion of women in IITs comes a year before the rollout of a plan by the IIT Council to increase the number of seats reserved for women. By 2026, the IITs intend to increase the proportion of women students to 20% of the total seats. There are no reserved seats for women students in IITs till now.

Students at IIT Delhi campus(HT File Photo)
Students at IIT Delhi campus(HT File Photo)

In terms of absolute numbers, 1,018 women enrolled themselves in IITs this year as against 840 last year -- an increase by 21%. Of these, IIT, Delhi, registered a significant increase by 30 %— from 70 to 93. From next year, the number is expected to be even higher as extra seats have been earmarked for women.

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A number of IITs had put a special focus on reaching out to female candidates. Right from setting up a special helpline for them and putting in place a helpdesk to answer various queries.

To increase the number of girls on the campus, IIT Delhi had organised an on-campus interaction with the girl students who had cleared the JEE Advanced. Besides interactions in-person, there were also consultations via emails and telephone calls. “The response was extremely positive. The idea was essentially to encourage girls to join an IIT and allay any doubts or fears that they or their parents may have had regarding pursuing any area at IIT Delhi,” Prof Shalini Gupta, who coordinated the interaction said.

Also, it was found that in the past many JEE qualified women did not get admission to IITs as they did not fill sufficient choices hence this year IIT Kharagpur through its helpdesk helped students in providing such information.

The proportion of women in IITs has been fluctuating in the past few years— 8.8% in 2014 to 9.3% this year. The IITs are among India’s best institutes and regularly ranked high in global surveys but are plagued by a paltry number of women students, seen as the Indian’s society’s belief that men are more suited for technical jobs.

“While IIT Delhi already has a large population of female post graduate students, this year, based on the estimates from second round of counselling, we are expecting 30% increase in number of female under-graduate students. The cosmopolitan atmosphere in campus and integration of student activities that provide rich overall individual growth, especially to female students via various extra and co-curricular opportunities make it a much desired destination for girls, says IIT Delhi director Prof V Ramgopal Rao.

In IIT Roorkee the total number of female candidates showed an increase with seat acceptance of female candidates going up from 84 in 2016 to 91 in 2017.

“A Webpage was designed and kept at our IITR server to help women candidates. Also, a helpdesk was initiated too. The female faculty participated enthusiastically and mobile numbers of faculty from various departments were made available to all female candidates for further enquiries,” said Prof. Ajit K, Chaturvedi, IIT Roorkee director.

Year Women enrolled
2014 8.8%
2015 9%
2016 8%
2017 9.3%
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    Neelam Pandey covers education sector and gender issues for Hindustan Times. She is a policy wonk with a keen interest in politics.

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