The Joint Admissions Board (JAB) of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) held a meeting on Sunday at Guwahati. The board decided to form a panel that works towards boosting the percentage of female students in the premier technology institutes.
The story so far
In 2013, the ratio of male to female students in an IIT campus was lower than 10:1. The ratio varied with departments, with as few as 2 girls in a hundred students in some departments like Mechanical Engineering. The records of the university’s entrance exam show that the problem doesn’t lie in the qualification process, as right in the application stage, only 18% are girls. This problem rose in 2012 with the introduction of the two-tier exam when the number of girls applying for the exams dropped. Before this, the percentage of girls registering had risen from 24.3% in 2008 to 33.3% in 2012.
The situation concerning this gender disparity has indeed been getting better, albeit slowly. In 2015, the number of female students admitted increased to 9% from 2014’s 8%.
Seed for a solution
The Joint Admission Board to the IITs is the committee that takes necessary decisions with respect to the entrance exams and admission processes concerned with the premier institutes. They held a meeting this week and one of the important decisions taken at the meeting was to form a panel which would recommend methods that could be adopted to raise the number of female applicants applying for JEE every year.
The JAB took this decision as, over the years, there has been a drop in the number of female applicants and a further drop in gaining admission in the IITs. Another crucial reason to take this step was to encourage women to write JEE. These decisions were taken as JAB considers this as a serious issue and feels that steps needed to be taken to encourage female candidates.