Hindustan Times (Delhi)

IITs mull ways to up number of girl students

- Neelam Pandey neelam.pandey@hindustant­imes.com


NEW DELHI: Concerned by the slump in number of female students entering the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Joint Admission Board has set up a committee to explore ways to increase their enrolment.

Sources said the issue was discussed at length during a meeting of the board, which conducts the Joint Entrance Examinatio­n (JEE) Advanced, on Sunday. A sub-committee under the chairmansh­ip of professor Timothy Gonsalves was formed to find ways to rectify the situation in the premier engineerin­g institutes.

It was learnt that there has been a 2% dip in the number of girls who cleared the JEE-Advanced this year, as compared to the previous one. While over 1,000 cracked the examinatio­n (roughly 10% of the total 10,000 seats) in 2015, only 840 female students (coming up to 8%) made it to the institutes in 2016-17. As many as 10,500 students landed B Tech seats at 23 IITs across the country this time.

“Despite 50% of the successful students claiming that they used self-study methods to crack the examinatio­n, it is common knowledge that almost every IIT student comes from coaching institutio­ns in Kota and other places. Most parents are unwilling to enroll their girls in coaching institutes because it would involve leaving home and staying in difficult circumstan­ces. This is probably why they don’t NEW DELHI: To promote research in engineerin­g institutes, the government is likely to introduce Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship for students passing out of IITs.

The HRD is mulling the fellowship for around 1,000 students from the next academic year. “The quality of research is directly related to the quality of people who undertake it. It becomes important that the best minds are encouraged to take up research,” said a senior functionar­y. HTC

perform as well as male students in JEE Advanced,” said an academic expert. None of the girls who were selected this year made it to the top 100 either. Riya Singh, the topper among female students this year, got a comparativ­ely low all-India rank of 133.

Sources said the number of girls registerin­g for the joint entrance examinatio­n had been rising steadily until the two-tier exam system of JEE Main and Advanced was introduced in 2012. The institutes have now reduced the fees for female candidates in an attempt to resolve the gender imbalance, an IIT director said.

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