In a move aimed at encouraging women students to take up engineering, IIT Bhubaneswar has decided to add 22 extra seats for women in its various BTech courses from the academic session 2018-19. With this decision, the authorities aim to counter the wide gender gap that exists in engineering colleges. With these additional seats, the total seat count for BTech courses will increase from 350 to 372 in the Bhubaneswar IIT.

We were very worried about the very few number of female students joining the IITs – Direction, IIT-Bhubaneswar

“We were very worried about the very few number of female students joining the IITs, and are delighted that the Human Resources Development ministry has decided to provide sanction for an additional 22 seats for women candidates in this IIT this year,” said R V Raja Kumar, director of IIT Bhubaneswar.

Women reportedly make for 8 per cent of the total student population at the college. The central government wants to increase the percentage of women students. As per this report, the average women strength is 14 per cent in every IIT in the country at present and up to 20 per cent by 2026. “To increase the strength of women students to 14 per cent in IIT Bhubaneswar, a six per cent increase will be affected,” reported TOI.

No impact on the share of seats for boys

The selection to these extra seats will be done through the usual examination of JEE. These seats will not impact the share of boys that get admission. “This is not a reservation for women because by adding these supernumerary seats the share of boys will not be affected. This is to attract more women to the IITs,” Raja Kumar said. Before this step, there hasn’t been any such provision for women in any of the IITs. The initiative taken up by IIT Bhubaneswar might be fruitful in increasing the share of women in the technical field. The present reservation provisions for scheduled castes (SC), scheduled tribes (ST) and other backward classes (OBC) will be applied for the 22 additional seats.

“There are so many reasons for which not many girls consider joining the IITs even though they are equally good in studies. The reasons are more social than anything else. Among the existing IIT students, girls perform really well,” said Raja Kumar.

Picture Source: IIT Bhubaneswar

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