IIT JEE-Main sees 64,000 more women candidates this year
While experts attributed the rise to the new rule that allows candidates to take JEE-Main twice in a year, some said it was a result of other factors, including the 14% supernumerary (extra) seats kept aside for women.Updated: May 01, 2019, 23:37 IST
The efforts of Indian Institutes of Technology to increase the number of women students have finally borne fruits – the recent Joint Entrance Examination-Main (JEE-Main) saw more women candidates (3.30 lakh) than last year (2.66 lakh), according to the figures released by National Testing Agency (NTA) recently. The number of women candidates in 2017 was 2.64 lakh.
While experts attributed the rise to the new rule that allows candidates to take JEE-Main twice in a year, some said it was a result of other factors, including the 14% supernumerary (extra) seats kept aside for women. Supernumerary seats are created in cases where the number of candidates is more than the available seats, and can vary from one IIT to another.
In a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) held in June 2017, the IITs decided to admit more than 1,400 women from 2018-19. The move was aimed at rectifying gender disparity in the institutes. In a first, in 2018, 23 IITs and Indian School of Mines (ISM) kept aside almost 800 supernumerary seats for women, based on requests from the human resource development (HRD) ministry.
“Apart from supernumerary seats, we also conducted several outreach programmes in schools and junior colleges to encourage women to join IITs,” said Subhasis Chaudhuri, director of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B). Some IITs also award merit scholarships, regardless of parental income, to all women.
While some IITs have been keeping seats aside for women, this year, at least 14% seats in all IITs will be kept for them. “IITs and other technology institutes are introducing various initiatives to ensure gender parity. It is also kept in mind while hiring faculty, to ensure equality,” said a senior professor from IIT-Guwahati.