Kiran Wadhwa, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, December 23, 2009
Women are making their presence felt on Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campuses.
In the last five years, the number of women clearing the joint entrance test (JEE) to get into the seven IITs has trebled, according to a report analysing IIT admission trends.
In 2005, women formed five per cent of the total number of those who cleared the JEE (381 out of 6,433). In 2009, their pool increased to 10 per cent (1,048 of 10,035). Though the percentage is small, it is a big improvement.
“The number of applications from women has also increased and courses at IIT are no longer viewed as only-for-men. Even women are interested in technical fields,” said Anil Kumar, IIT-Bombay’s JEE chairperson, who prepared the report.
Women alumni are glad. Kavita Ramanan was one of just 10 women in a batch of 300 in 1992 at IIT-B. “There were those who thought we’d wasted a seat and that we’d eventually get married and stay at home,” said the professor from Brown University, Rhode Island.
“Parents may still be apprehensive about sending their daughters to the male-majority IITs but there is no bias on campus,” said Sukhada Pendse, a third year IIT-B electrical engineering student, one of eight girls in her class.
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