THE INDIAN Institutes of Technology (IITs) have decided to introduce a supernumerary quota for women from 2018 to improve the gender composition of their classrooms. The decision to introduce 20 per cent additional seats, exclusively for women, was taken at a meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs on Saturday afternoon. The implementation of this will be staggered over three years — 14 per cent additional seats in 2018, 17 per cent in 2019, and 20 per cent in 2020.
“The 20 per cent supernumerary quota will kick in only if the admission of female candidates to a course is abysmally low. For instance, if there are 100 seats and only 10 of them have been taken by women, then the institute will add 20 per cent seats over and above the actual strength, but only for women. The effort will be to lower the cut-off till these extra seats are filled up by women,” said an HRD official, who did not want to identified.
The move is aimed at improving the poor enrollment of women in the IITs. In 2014, 8.8 per cent women were admitted; the figure went up to 9 per cent in 2015, but dropped to 8 per cent in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Joint Seat Allocation Authority or JOSAA, which looks into matters related to joint counselling of IITs and NITs, also met on Saturday and decided that these institutes will hold seven rounds of admission counselling this year. Students who do not join their chosen course after the fourth round will have to forfeit 50 per cent of their admission fees. Last year, IITs and NITs had conducted six rounds of counselling.
IITs and NITs have also been asked to review the popularity of their courses and report any seat cut they wish to implement for any programme to the JOSAA by next week. These measures are aimed at reducing the number of seats which fall vacant every year. Last year, almost 3,000 seats across 23 IITs, 32 NITs and some centrally-funded technical institutions remained vacant despite six rounds of joint counselling. Of these, 73 seats were vacant at the IITs and 1,518 at the NITs.