As a nation, we have progressed enough to have reached a stage where we do not have to justify girls going to school anymore; at least, in most parts of India. But going to college and pursuing a higher education seems to be an entirely different matter altogether. As a result, the percentage of girls enrolling for higher education is very low.
In the year 2016, the number of girls enrolled in the IITs was just eight percent of the total student population. To overcome this gap and bring in a balance, the premier engineering institutes will now have a supernumerary quota of 20 percent for women. Talking about this action, a member of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) told The Times of India,
"The supernumerary quota has been created to combat gender imbalance. Already, the number of female aspirants taking the entrance is less. Even if they don't qualify under general category, women will be admitted through the supernumerary quota."
A supernumerary quota implies increasing the number of seats and reserving those seats for women. The existing number of seats will not be disturbed. Hence, it will not affect the number of men getting into IIT. This will be implemented from 2018. These seats will be filled by women who have cleared the advanced level of the Joint Entrance Examination, and it is also mandatory that these women are in the top 20 percentile in their board exams.
According to The Indian Express, an HRD official said,
“The 20 percent supernumerary quota will kick in only if the admission of female candidates to a course is abysmally low. For instance, if there are 100 seats and only 10 of them have been taken by women, then the institute will add 20 percent seats over and above the actual strength, but only for women. The effort will be to lower the cut-off till these extra seats are filled up by women.”
Another decision taken is that seats vacated by women will be filled by other women, which would ensure that women get more chances.