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.
IIIT has never had a separate route for women in any of its mode of admissions. The previous version of this article mentions that SPEC was one such route, which we have since learned is incorrect. In a mail sent by the Dean Academics, Prof. Jayanti clarifies:
“The SPEC mode of admission is as stated in our admissions website for those who meet the following criteria:
- Qualified for the UDAAN scheme of CBSE.
- Are currently enrolled in an integrated, six-year, 12th + B.Tech programme (after the 10th class).
The above two criteria are the only ones to be met by any applicant. There are 10 seats available in each of the BTech ECE and CSE programmes for this mode of admission. There are no further reservations of seats of any kind within the SPEC mode for any specific category.”
In a follow-up mail, she goes on to explain the differences in admissions to IIT and IIIT when candidates are part of the UDAAN scheme:
“I think there is a confusion about what UDAAN scheme in general is and what the requirements are for SPEC mode that IIITH has set up. Yes UDAAN is for girls and what the website lists as reservations are applicable only in terms of IIT admission. As far as IIITH is concerned SPEC allows those selected to UDAAN to apply. They are girls. Nothing more.”
We regret the error in the earlier version which failed to identify the differences in admission modes for IIT and IIIT when candidates appear for examinations via UDAAN.
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.”
Update 22.3.2020: Concluding paragraphs rewritten to fix certain errors. “IIIT has never had a separate route… appear for examination via UDAAN” was originally:
For those unaware, IIIT does have a special mode of eligibility for women for its Special Channel of Admissions, albeit quite limited in number. This is more of an implicit “reservation”, however: admission criteria state that applicants must have qualified for the UDAAN scheme by CBSE, or be enrolled in an integrated six year programme (12th + B.Tech) after 10th. Thus, students admitted through SPEC may satisfy the criterion specified by UDAAN – which is only open to girl students, has a threshold on maximum family income, and caste-based reservations as per JEE Advanced. IIIT’s selection beyond this is purely meritocratic, however.
Update 21.3.2020: Concluding paragraphs rewritten to fix certain errors. “For those unaware… selection beyond this is purely meritocratic, however” was originally:
For those unaware, IIIT does have a special mode of eligibility for women for its Special Channel of Admissions. 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.