Effective from the 2018-2019 session, all IITs are required to prepare a separate merit list for women to ensure that there is a 14% representation. This directive has come up from the Ministry of Human Resource and Development as an attempt to reduce the gender gap IITs and promote higher education in women.
This directive has already received a lot of criticism saying that it is the introduction of gender reservation in IIT without calling it by that name. Many officials felt that the second girls-only merit list may mean less meritorious students gaining admission at the expense of boys who have done better. "This will also put more pressure on IITs, who will now have to arrange for more bridge-course or remedial classes for students getting through to IITs just because we want a pre-determined percentage of girls on the campus," an IIT teacher said.
It is important to understand the move would in no way affect the admissions of male students or change the number of seats available to them. The suggestion is to ensure a 14 percent quota by strictly filling supernumerary seats.
The "separate vertical" for girls will be published after IIT authorities see the percentage of girls who have got admission through the common merit list. So, if a specific IIT's common merit list has 6 percent girl students, that IIT will have to come up with an extra girls-only merit list to ensure their percentage on the campus goes up to 14 percent. Thereby increases the seats to maintain 14%. The number of boys to be admitted will not go down from the 2017 number.
The HRD ministry's directive is part of a long-term plan to increase the female representation on IIT campuses to 20 percent of the total number of students by 2026.