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NIT: Percentage Of Women Candidates Nosedives At India’s Best NITs

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By Nidhi Agarwal
11 Aug'22  5 min read
NIT: Percentage Of Women Candidates Nosedives At India’s Best NITs
Synopsis

India’s top National Institutes of Technology, (NIT) are seeing a decline in the number of women students pursuing a BTech qualification. In this article, Careers360 takes a look at the diversity at our top NITs based on the recently released NIRF data. 

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NIT: Percentage Of Women Candidates Nosedives At India’s Best NITs
Synopsis

India’s top National Institutes of Technology, (NIT) are seeing a decline in the number of women students pursuing a BTech qualification. In this article, Careers360 takes a look at the diversity at our top NITs based on the recently released NIRF data. 

In the last five years, the top National Institutes of Technology (NIT) – NIT Trichy, Surathkal, Rourkela, Warangal and Calicut have recorded a decrease in percentage of female students enrolled for engineering. The only exception was in 2020-21 when NIT Rourkela showed an increase of 1.4 percentage point from its decreasing trend.

The average percentage of female students enrolled in the top five NITs was around 21.5 per cent in 2015-16. That has reduced to 19.28 per cent in the last five years.

NIT Warangal And NIT Calicut, the top-ranking NITs in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) engineering rankings, have been admitting fewer women over time. NIT Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) and NIT Surathkal too showed a similar trend but in NIRF 2022 the numbers increased.

For the latest ranking, NIRF 2022, considered data for the batch that was enrolled in the four-year BTech programme from 2017 to 2021. That is the latest data publicly available.

As centrally-run public institutions, the NITs are subject to the central reservation policy. This means that most of them are unlikely to be homogenous and will have representation from historically-marginalised communities such as the Scheduled Castes (SC, 15 per cent reservation), Scheduled Tribes (ST, 7.5 per cent) and Other Backward Classes (OBC, 27 per cent) and within these, for Persons With Disabilities (PWD). Seats are reserved also for the upper-caste poor or Economically Weaker Sections (EWS, 10 per cent). Seats at an NIT are also split halfway between the centre and the state where it is located. This means that 50 per cent seats are reserved for students from within the state and the rest are for students from across the country.

In NIRF 2022, NIT Trichy was ranked at the top, followed by NIT Surathkal Karnataka, then NIT Rourkela, NIT Warangal and NIT Calicut. Admission to NITs is via the Joint Entrance Examination Main (JEE Main) conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

NIT: Women’s Representation

The lopsided male-female ratio among engineering students was expected. What was not, was the declining presence of women students over years.

In five years, the number and percentage of female students decreased in NIT Warangal and Calicut. At NIT Trichy, their absolute numbers have been rising but their percentage dropped meaning, the representation of women in relation to men declined. While for NIT Surathkal and Rourkela the number and percentage of female students showed some increase in 2022.

Unlike the NITs, the new-generation Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) showed an increasing percentage of female students over the same period. However, the IITs had decided to add supernumerary seats for women in 2017.Female Participation In NITs

Female Participation In NITs

Also Read | Rank Below 2 Lakh In JEE Main? List Of NITs Where You Could Get A Seat

Diversity: In, Out Of State

Given the reservation pattern of the NITs, a large section of students come from the state where a particular NIT is located. However, the average does not reach 50 per cent despite the presence of a quota. On an average, around 46 per cent of students are native to the state where the college is located, the “home state”.

NIT: Home-State Students (In %)

College Name

2020-21

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

NIT Trichy, Tamil Nadu

42.70

42.33

42.12

42.5

41.57

NIT Surathkal, Karnataka

44.48

43.21

43.68

42.99

44.93

NIT Rourkela, Odisha

46.59

45.68

46.25

45.16

45.17

NIT Warangal, Telangana

45.66

43.81

39.62

45.98

39.23

NIT Calicut, Kerala

48.85

45.67

44.78

47.45

48.84

Also Read | New IITs: Women’s Presence Rises, Foreign Student Numbers Drop

NIT Admission: EWS Reservation

Ten per cent seats are reserved for General Economically Weaker Sections (GEN-EWS) in the NITs. In this case, the NIRF data throws up more questions than it answers. The EWS quota was introduced in 2019 and, therefore, would reflect in only two batch’s data in 2019-2020 and 2020-21.

Although the matter is now sub-judice in the Supreme Court, EWS quota is for the upper caste students whose annual family income is under Rs 8 lakh.

What is not clear is how the NIRF or the NITs defined “EWS” before the definition was standardised in 2019. The NITs collect income data at the point of admission but there are impossible variations from year to year. The entries against NIT Surathkal are a case-in-point. The data suggests that the representation of EWS students rose by over 15 percentage points from 2015-16 to 2016-17 and then dropped by 16 percentage points the next year, followed by a nine percentage points increase in 2018-19 . Considering that drastic changes occur only when one batch graduates and another batch joins and that a single batch’s composition is unlikely to undergo much change over the four years a BTech programme lasts, these figures seem impossible. Other NITs too showed a similar pattern. The table below shows the percentages drawn from NIRF data.

EWS Students In NITs (In %)

College Name

2020-21

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

NIT Trichy

11.2

10.27

8.22

6.49

27.5

NIT Surathkal

25.7

23.6

20.39

11.91

28.89

NIT Rourkela

14.1

2.6

10.43

10.5

35.56

NIT Warangal

5.0

22.17

10.12

5.68

0

NIT Calicut

19.9

11.06

31.32

25.39

25.73

NIT: SC, ST, OBC Reservation, Representation

For SC, ST and OBC students, reservation is by central policy and the quotas add up to 49.5 per cent of total seats. There may be variations depending on the location of the NIT but those are not visible in the top ranks. It is clear from the figures in the table below that several NITs do not have 49.5 percent representation of these groups. NIT Calicut and Rourkela have been the exception and NIT Trichy has come close.

NIT: SC, ST, OBC Students (In %)

College Name

2020-21

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

NIT Trichy

48.9

44.54

47.68

47.74

47.97

NIT Surathkal

44.6

44.19

43.74

43.64

43.84

NIT Rourkela

49.6

48.37

48.58

48.63

47.87

NIT Warangal

43.6

44.83

44.03

44.2

43.72

NIT Calicut

49.5

51.61

50.91

50.54

49.27

Also Read | JEE Main, NEET: Online Versus Offline Coaching

International Students

On an average, the presence of foriegn students in the total strength enrolled in these NITs has decreased from 7.68 per cent to 4 percent over the five years.

Though NIT Calicut did not show major changes in the number of foreign students, NIT Trichy now has 25 per cent of the foriegn students they had in 2016-17.

International Students In NITs (In %)

College Name

2020-21

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

NIT Trichy

2.6

3.24

3.37

13.04

12.31

NIT Surathkal

0.9

1.13

1.45

2.12

2.34

NIT Rourkela

7.2

9.17

7.5

3.55

8.49

NIT Warangal

8.7

12.39

13.04

13.35

14.08

NIT Calicut

0.8

0.79

0.96

0.99

1.16

Average

4

5.34

5.27

6.61

7.68

The number of foreing students at NIT Rourkela fluctuated dramatically over the five years. In 2019-20, it showed a jump of 70 per cent over the total number of foriegn students in 2015-16.

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