Hyderabad: Nearly 779 seats will be allotted for women candidates alone in IITs this academic year to improve the skewed gender ratio in premier institutions.
The decision was finalised in the IIT council meeting and widely appreciated by educational experts as premier institutions have always had a wide disparity in the gender ratio.
In 2016, only 38 per cent of girls accepted their seats in IIT despite being qualified for the same. They also gave very limited options during counselling i.e. for courses available in their hometown IITs. The decision was taken to ensure that more female students decide to take up engineering course in premier institutions.
Dheeraj Sanghi, a faculty member of IIT Kanpur, said, “One reason for less number of girls in engineering coaching centres could be because coaching centres are very gender skewed. Parents do not wish to send their daughters to popular ones at Kota and other places. However, popular medical entrance coaching institutes can be found even in one’s hometown.”
While safety is often cited as a reason for not sending female students out of their hometowns, many premier institutions are working towards removing these concerns.
Dr Jasine Baby, faculty at IIT-Palakkad and warden for the ladies hostel, said, “When we initially started our campus, a lot of parents called in and as-ked us questions regarding the safety of girl students. In our previous batch, we had only seven girls out of 117 students. Parents fear about the unknown. So any place away from their hometown is not desired. But at the same time, it shouldn’t lead to a loss of chance for the girls.”