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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Women get 17% seats in IITs across the country

Experts within and outside the institutes are attributing this positive change to various reasons, including the introduction of supernumerary seats for women students as well as fee waivers by some IITs across the country.

mumbai Updated: Sep 02, 2019 13:52 IST
Shreya Bhandary
Shreya Bhandary
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IIT Bombay
IIT Bombay(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
         

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are getting one step closer to achieving gender parity in their classrooms. This year, almost all IITs have managed to fill 17% (946 students) of their new batch with women candidates, as prescribed by the IIT council.

Experts within and outside the institutes are attributing this positive change to various reasons, including the introduction of supernumerary seats for women students as well as fee waivers by some IITs across the country.

According to IIT-Bombay, 199 out of the 1,115 students who enrolled in the new batch this year are women, which is 17.84% of the batch. At IIT-Delhi, 189 (18.05%) of the total 1,047 students who sought admission in 2019 are women. Officials at IIT-Madras, IIT-Guwahati said they have managed to fill 18.2% and 18.46% of their undergraduate batch, respectively, with women students.

“Apart from supernumerary seats, we have also conducted several outreach programmes in schools and junior colleges to encourage more women students to join IITs,” said Subhasis Chaudhuri, director of IIT-B.

In 2017, the intake of women students at B-Tech programmes at IITs was a mere 9.3%. In 2018, the IIT admissions council decided to introduce supernumerary seats for women students, with the addition of 800 (14%) seats across 23 IITs in 2018. The aim is to ensure that female enrollment reaches a target of at least 20% of the undergraduate class by 2020.

In some cases, IITs have also started mentor programmes to ease in the new students into life away from home. “All women students who take admission at IIT-Roorkee are introduced to other women students who have already spent a year or more on campus. This has helped many female students get rid of their inhibitions and accept admissions to our institute,” said Ajit Kumar Chaturvedi, director, IIT-Roorkee.

Some IITs have also started merit-based scholarships for women students, regardless of parental income. “All women students admitted for UG programs get a scholarship, including full tuition fee waiver and ₹1,000 a month for 10 months in the first year, irrespective of the category and family income. The scholarship will continue till the end of the programme, subject to good academic record in previous two semesters and no disciplinary action against the student,” said a spokesperson for IIT-Mandi, where 20.22% of the batch this year is filled by women students.

First Published: Sep 01, 2019 23:21 IST

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