1400 more seats for women in IITs from next year

On Saturday, the top admission body of India, IIT decides that it will now offer admission to more than 1400 women from the next academic year. The step has been taken with the intention of curbing the issue of gender imbalance in the premier technology institutes of India.

The joint admission boards of IITs had a meeting wherein a hike of 14% in the total number of seats designated to women, which counts for an increase of 600 seats, was decided. This makes the total quota to 1440 seats.

Confirming the same the officials have said that the women’s quota in IITs would vary and will be decided on a year to year basis.  The committee also proposed to award scholarships to women student despite their parental income if they perform meritoriously in their subjects. However, the proposal still awaits confirmation from the IIT council.

A senior HRD minister while talking to leading news daily said that the increase in the quota will be of “supernumerary” means or in the form of excess seats in the IITs. The quota would be applicable from 2018 and will increase every year till it touches 20%.

At present, there are only 8% female students in all the 23 IITs across the country. The official also cleared that this increase in quota won’t affect the number of seats for male candidates in the institution and that the increase in the quota would stretch over a period of 8 years to reach its fullest form.

“The 20% supernumerary seats will be filled by female candidates who have cleared JEE-Advanced…so merit is followed,” he added.

As per an early report by a leading newspaper, JAB, the body regulating admissions in IITs proposed a hike of 20% in the total number of seats for female students and also stated that any seat vacated by a female student will be filled up by a female student only.

After the institute saw a visible dip of 2% in the number of a girl student in 2016 when compared to 2015, there was a committee formed under the supervision of professor Timothy Gonsalves to curb the situation of gender imbalance in the institutes.

“The number of seats for male candidates will not be affected and this will help IITs achieve the target by 2020. Also, only candidates who have already qualified in JEE-Advanced will be considered,” an official added.

IITs are one of the leading educational institutes in India that are always ranked high in the global survey but these institutions are suffering from lack of women students as the Indian society perceives Engineering to be a masculine job to be taken up by a female.

As per a report, “Due to societal preferences and biases in India, by and large, it is the sons who are sent for coaching rather than equally talented daughters. Holding traditional, paternalistic views, parents may believe that they are acting in the best interests of the girls, that they are protecting them from a hostile society that they are preparing them for a suitable feminine role in life,”

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