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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

This year, 1 in 3 PhD graduates at IIT-D women, director hails milestone for gender diversity

The premier technological institute will be holding its 51st convocation on November 7 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief guest.

Written by Sukrita Baruah | New Delhi | Updated: November 7, 2020 9:16:58 am
IIT DelhiIn a pre-convocation press conference on Thursday, director Rao stated that every third person among the 298 PhD students graduating this year is a woman. (File)

Every third PhD candidate graduating from IIT-Delhi this year is a woman, which director V Ramgopal Rao hailed as an important milestone for gender diversity on the campus. The premier technological institute will be holding its 51st convocation on November 7 with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as chief guest. In a pre-convocation press conference on Thursday, director Rao stated that every third person among the 298 PhD students graduating this year is a woman.

“This is a very important milestone for us. We are all trying to improve the gender diversity of the campus. In undergraduate classes, the percentage of women students still stands at 15-16 per cent, but above that, in the postgraduate and especially the PhD level, we are seeing a better proportion,” he said.

Read | PM to address IIT-Delhi’s 51st convocation today

Dean Academics Shantanu Roy said the percentage of women among PhD graduates had been ‘hovering’ between 25-30 per cent in recent years but had increased this year to 35 per cent. “In this year’s admissions, our supernumerary quota for women increased to 20 per cent from 14 per cent in 2018-2019 and 17 per cent in 2019-2020, and this push for diversity will reflect in our graduates in a few years to come as well,” said Roy.

Apart from PhD students, 873 undergraduate and 1,146 postgraduate students will be receiving their degrees at the convocation this year. Director Rao pointed out that the composition of the institute is over time tilting towards postgraduate studies.

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“For the first time this year, we have more than a total of 10,000 students. Of this 3,131 are PhD students, 3,319 are postgraduate students and 4,450 are bachelor students, which means that 60 per cent are postgraduate and above. So we are becoming more of a postgraduate institute now,” he said.

Last year, at this time, the institute had launched its endowment fund with an initial commitment of Rs 255 crore, which officials said has been a little slow to take off this year due to the economic repercussions of the Covid pandemic.

Read | IIT-Delhi to set up Centre of Excellence for Law and Technology

“All the 16-17 alumni who had committed to the endowment fund have lived up to their commitments. In some cases, they wanted slightly longer time frames to honour their commitments and we understand that businesses are not doing particularly well. These commitments were to be honoured in 5-10 years’ time. In this year we have realised around Rs 45 crore of that commitment… As far as new commitments are concerned, we are in talks with our alumni but have not realised any new commitment,” said Dean Alumni Affairs Naveen Garg.

Rao also stated that the institute is keen to establish an offshore campus and is in preliminary talks regarding this.

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