Who needs reservations ?

Gender bender

Who needs reservations ?

The Indian Institutes of Technology have long been known to harbour a skewed sex ratio. Girls, on an average, form only about 10 per cent of the total number of students admitted to the prestigious technical institutes.

To correct the same, the HRD ministry has proposed to give an advantage to girl aspirants by placing them above boys if they get the same marks in the IIT-JEE exams.
However, when Metrolife spoke to students and faculty at IIT-Delhi, not many seemed to be buying the proposal.

While girl students expressed their unwillingness to carry the tag of ‘reservation students,’ the professors felt the intervention is ad hoc and unnecessary.

Sanju Ahuja, a Ist year student of Mechanical engineering at IIT(D), is the only girl in a class of 104 students. Irrespective, she says, “I believe in merit only. Every girl should learn to stand on her feet, and not rely on help or sympathy from the larger community. And then, girls are as intelligent as guys. We can easily do without this help.”   
 
When asked if being the only girl in a class of 104 guys causes any social awkwardness, she says, “Not at all. I don’t see my classmates as guy classmates, but classmates only. I know that these are the people I have to live with and compete with at the end of the day. When I pass out of this institute, I would also like to be known as an IITian, not a girl IITian.”

Esha Dhoble, a IIIrd year student of the Biotechnology department agrees, “When students get in through the OBC and SC/ST categories, aren’t we the same people to complain of partiality. I would never want someone to comment behind my back ki ladkiyon ka to ho hi jata hai.”

Professor Suhail Ahmad, HOD, Applied Mechanics,  says, “This proposal has not been discussed with us as yet, but frankly, I don’t see the lesser number of girls here as a problem. There are enough number of lady professors and staff, and then there is a larger world outside the four walls of IIT. I don’t think it should be causing inconvenience to anybody.”

He adds, “I feel that these interventions should be made at the more grassroot level like, say, primary education, as girls definitely need help there. If they are supported in the initial years, I am sure they will be able to do well on their own strength.”

Professor Charusita Chakravarty of the Chemistry department makes an important point too, “The fact that not many girls go for disciplines like Mechanics and Electrical engineering reflects a social reality that they are not naturally inclined towards it. I don’t think it requires any correction.”

“In any case, whatever is decided finally, I think, it would require careful consideration so that no ad hoc decision is imposed on the student community.”   

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