New Delhi, April 8: This year in the new academic session the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) will offer 779 seats exclusively for woman candidates. Unlike every year this year, the intake of female candidates will be more than normal. This inclusion of seats is to improve the poor gender ration in the B.Tech programmes of IITs. The admission of women to IITs will be more than double because of the “supernumerary seats.”

According to Indian Express reports, last year the decision was taken to introduce supernumerary seats. The composition of female students in IITs has remained more or less constant over the last five years. However, in IITs, the gender ratio in PG programmes is roughly 22 percent.

Out of 779 seats, the largest chunk of 113 seats, is with IIT Kharagpur, followed by IIT-Dhanbad (95 seats), IIT-Kanpur (79), IIT-BHU (76), IIT-Roorkee (68), IIT-Delhi (59), IIT-Bombay (58) and IIT Guwahati (57). This year it is expected that the 779 supernumerary seats will take to take the proportion of women admitted to IITs to 14 percent.

The decision was taken by the council on recommendations of sub-committee of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) chaired by IIT Mandi director T.A Gonsalves. The sub-committee noticed that many women clearing JEE (Advanced) to achieve a 45 percent gender ratio in the B.Tech programme. But the sub-committee found that their actual representation is less than 10 percent.

According to the reports, the less number of women in IITs means schoolgirls aspiring for careers in engineering are unlikely to have any female role models in their family who did their BTech in an IIT. The report also stated to respond to criticism that preferential treatment dilutes quality, “Only female candidates who have qualified in JEE (Advanced) are considered. They are in the top two percent of all students admitted to engineering in India. Evidence such as Board exam results indicates that they are as meritorious as their male counterparts.”

The report added,“The ranks of females in JEE (Advanced) are lower due largely to systematic societal biases that deprive them of support for JEE (Advanced) preparation equal to that given to boys.”