Open IIT Gates – More women are taking a crack at the JEE. Good, because this gender disparity was glaring

Source: The post is based on the article “Open IIT Gates – More women are taking a crack at the JEE. Good, because this gender disparity was glaring” published in The Times of India on 24th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education.

Relevance: About women students in STEM.

News: Girls routinely outperform boys in boards and medical entrance. But in JEE, the results have long highlighted glaring gendered disparity. For the first time this year, women make up 30% of the IIT-JEE applicant pool.

About women students in STEM?

In India, women make up 43% of the STEM education pool, one of the highest ratios in the world.

However, there are a few shortcomings. Such as a) Lack of interest in scientific and technical education, b) Implicit biases and the lack of role models for women in the field of STEM, c) The JEE exam usually requires years of intensive coaching in faraway locations, and d) Students from rural and lower-income backgrounds also do not pursue JEE.

How does the government is improving women students in STEM?

The government has made active interventions to spark girls’ interest in STEM studies. Such as a) There is a horizontal ‘supernumerary’ quota in IITs. This gives women who have passed the JEE Advanced an edge in courses of their choice and has improved the presence of women to 20% on IIT campuses, b) Institutions are assessed for their gender inclusion.

IITs must make sure that disparities don’t come in the way of talent.

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