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BW Businessworld

Women Show Grit As IITs Log Rise In Girl Candidates

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The IITs have seen a marginal rise in the number of girls joining in various courses this year too, from 8 per cent last year to 9 per cent in the current batch.
Though, in absolute numbers, girls on the elite institutes' campuses have gone up by 40, compared to 2014, gender disparity continues to be a problem. Of the 9,974 students allotted seats in 18 IITs in the first joint seat allocation process, only 900 are girls, according to a report in The Times of India.
While 102,385 male students registered for the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) advanced 2015 exam, 96,895 actually appeared and 23,407 passed. Of the 22,355 girl students who registered, 20,342 appeared and 3,049 cleared the exam. Girls accounted for 11 per cent of those who found a place on the merit list.
Aditi topped among women, with an all-India rank of 7. Only five girls made it to the top 100. IIT aspirants have to clear two-phased JEE (Mains) and JEE (Advanced) exams to gain entry into the elite institutes.
The girls' academic performance, too, has shown an upward trend over the last few years. However, social scientists believe that girls are not encouraged by either their parents or the social system to get into engineering. They are more opt for medical or humanities subjects.
Professors attribute the poor representation of girls on engineering campuses to the mindset of people. Quoting Pradipta Banerji, director, IIT-Roorkee, the newspaper reported that girls are poorly represented only in the undergraduate programme, though their success percentage is usually on par with boys.
Additionally, girls have fared much better than boys in this year's CBSE class XII examinations, where the overall pass percentage stood at 82.66 per cent.
The pass percentage of girls stood at 88.52 as compared to 78.27 per cent for boys.
BW | Businessworld’s latest issue focus on workplace respecting the dignity of women, and where male colleagues don’t treat it as a sexual hunting ground. A good work environment, where women colleagues don’t live in fear of being hounded and harassed, will logically be a more productive place too. 
The start-up wave in this respect comes as a breath of fresh air. It is breaking gender barriers and providing new opportunities to women to become first generation entrepreneurs.