Concerned over the sharp dip in the number of female students taking admission in National Institute of Technology (NIT), the HRD ministry is considering introducing for them supernumerary (extra) seats from next year along the lines of IITs, sources said.
Only 13% female candidates took admission in the NITs this year as compared to 22% last year. Officials attribute this fall to the Centre’s decision of doing away with the system of allotting 40% weightage to Class 12 marks for determining rankings in the JEE. The JEE (Main) ranking is the gateway for admission to BTech courses in premier institutes like NITs.
“This is disadvantageous to female students, who have historically performed better than their male counterparts in Class 12 exams,” a source said.
Several NIT directors have raised the issue with the ministry, asking it to take a policy decision regarding this soon.
An HRD official conceded that the decision to not consider the Class 12 marks in preparing the final JEE ranks “could have impacted their (female students’) ranks and the overall admission (number)”. “The issue is being looked into,” the official said.
Sources said in case a policy decision is taken to increase the number of seats for women candidates, it will not affect the existing seats for their male counterparts.
There are a total of 31 NITs across the country with an intake of over 17,000 students. Last year, 3,900 female students had taken admission which has come down to 2,500 this year. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), to encourage more female admissions, introduced 20% special (or supernumerary) seats for them beginning this year.