Govt. asks IIT to give 14% seats to girls
KOLKATA: The HRD ministry has directed IITs to prepare separate merit lists for girls from the 2018-2019 academic year to ensure increased representation of females in IIT campuses.
The separate list will be published if IIT authorities find the percentage of girls admitted through the common merit list is less than 14. The ministry has said the number of girls to be admitted — to achieve the target of 14% — will be “supernumerary”; the number of boys to be admitted can’t go down from the 2017 number.
The circular from the ministry to the IITs follows consultations with the law ministry, but has drawn protests against “the introduction of gender reservation in IIT without calling it by that name”. The HRD ministry’s directive is part of a long-term plan to increase the female representation on IIT campuses to 20% of the total number of students by 2026.
The MHRD instruction, asking for a separate merit list for girls, actually introduces reservation for girls without calling it that,” a senior IIT official said. The matter was placed before the Joint Admission Board (the highest decision-making body of the IITs) on January 7.
Many officials felt that the second girls-only merit list— to take their representation to 14%—may mean less meritorious students gaining admission at the expense of boys who have done better. “This will also put more pressure on IITs, who will now have to arrange for more bridge-course or remedial classes for students getting through to IITs just because we want a pre-determined percentage of girls on the campus,” an IIT teacher said to a national daily.
All ITs (including the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad) will now have to increase the number of seats. The total number of admissions across IITs in 2018 will be 11,509, up from 10,988 (which TOI reported on November 25). All existing reservations would apply proportionately for the extra seats, officials have told TOI. But the specific number of extra students that each IIT will have to accommodate will depend on the number of boys each campus admitted in 2017.
Let’s see if this is a welcome move or not.