IIIT recently announced a dedicated diversity channel for women, with certain provisions that weren’t made known to the IIIT community. While the news may have surprised students, the announcement was made public a week prior to the intra-IIIT mail through various Indian news outlets. The press release, which contains new information, may be viewed at the end of the article.
Some remedies regarding gender diversity as per the press release include scholarships and fellowships. While IIIT has historically provided financial aid to students, this would be the first instance of financial aid in recent history that supports exclusively women. The mail fails to mention any form of financial assistance for applications or college tuition.
As per the mail sent to students on 4th February, the channel will be operated like the IIT’s manage their program for women. This mostly indicates a form of ‘supernumerary seating’ – a system where the number of seats available is increased to make way for women. With the new system, no seats will be taken away from male students that have been accepted through JEE and simultaneously ensures that the number of female students is at the minimum level. Unlike IITs however, IIIT plans to have a 25% minimum as opposed to the 14% mandated by the government for IITs.
In addition to this, the director describes the need to increase the pool of potential applicants while simultaneously improving the acceptance rate of women who were offered seats at IIIT. He describes this as a community-wide effort – ranging from students to alumni alike.
It remains to be seen how this system will be implemented as exact details have yet to be made public. The student community has been visibly divided over the merits of such a system or “reservation” as some call it. The momentous change was hardly unilateral though. Over the past month, parliament members have actively requested student input on improving the gender ratio at IIIT through forms and discussions with professors. However, some of these discussions took place after IIIT had already put out a statement.
For those unaware, IIIT does already have a special mode of admission for women – the Special Channel of Admission. A key difference with SPEC is that the number of seats is far fewer along with the inclusion income-based criteria – in compliance with the national UDAAN scheme. There is reservation within the SPEC channel as well through the UDAAN scheme with a certain percentage of total UDAAN members belonging to SC/ST/OBC/PWD.
Look out for an upcoming article about the idea of reservations in next month’s magazine.
“Hyderabad: IIIT-Hyderabad has decided to take positive steps to improve the gender ratio among its undergraduate students.
Towards this goal, the institute has set a target of 25% representation of girls among students admitted to the 4-year B.Tech program through the JEE mode of admission for 2020-2021. Several measures are being taken to facilitate this, including:
– introduction of scholarships, fellowships, and partial waiver of tuition for girl students
– partial/full waiver of application fee; and
– establishment of a diversity pool of seats for the JEE mode of admission.
Events will also be organized at various points in the admissions season to publicize what the institute offers in terms of academics, extra-curricular activities, scholarship opportunities, and residential facilities.
Deadline for applications is May 19, 2020.”