The dearth of females in the IITs

Why is that we see very few female faces in the elite engineering institutes like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)? What is the reason for the low number of girls in the premier institutions? Asked a few guys in the college, we got some of the most surprising (a few shocking too) and witty answers.

According to a group of guys in IITs, girls resort to by-hearting hence they do well in Class 12th examination, but fail miserably in JEE – where mugging up doesn’t work. Some feel girls are not too smart to crack the toughest entrance exam like IIT JEE.

Whatever may be the reason, the fact remains that a small number of girls make it to IITs.

When asked to a group of girls about the poor performance of female candidates in the examination, a few opined that girls are not encouraged by either their family or social system to be an engineer. They generally opt for medical or commerce subjects. That could be one of the many reasons for not having too many girls in IITs.

Not just one, there are several reasons for this-

Reason # 1 – No expectation, no effort

In most middle-class families, where girls are expected to study the same as their brothers, a lot of times, the expectations differ. In case of a boy, there is really no other way out than to study, and get into a good college, as it is not acceptable in India to not become an engineer or doctor (find some Indian parents memes, you will get an idea).

But in the subconscious of a lot of families, the expectation from a girl is to study, have a decent job and get married. (A lot of my female friends in coaching agreed that their parents didn’t really expect them to crack JEE, but get into any good engineering college. If the expectation is not there, the effort won’t be there too)

While reading through some of the replies on Quora, I came across some of the interesting answers (I’m not saying they are right or wrong) to ‘why few girls make it to IITs?’

Reason # 2 – Women all around the world don’t do that well in standardized problem-orientated aptitude tests. 
Even in highly developed, liberal countries like US, Germany, Sweden, Norway and UK, not many women are found pursuing engineering and scientific research!It’s got more to do with genetics and less to do with society. Generally women are very good at multi-tasking which men can’t manage. This is however a disadvantage when it comes to tests like IIT, GATE and CAT which requires complete focus and single-minded dedication to arrive at the only possible solution for the problem! The format plays into the hands of the non multi-tasking male.

Reason # 3 – Lack of financial support and infrastructure (a general perception)
To the boys who say girls have the habit of mugging up or lack analytical ability, my question is “Why are advanced scientific initiatives are largely limited to the west, why are we behind in that area despite having so many world-class male engineers?” Some of you might say that’s because our western counterparts have space, financial support and infrastructure.

If you feel our country lack in all of the above terms then why not extend the same theory to girls! All the male members of our country should think over it!

The Plancess Edusolutions team is present on PaGaLGuY with the userid @plancess. Write to them to get more tips and ideas. This article was originally published on their blog JEE-Mag, and has been lightly edited for clarity.

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