Prez Concerned With Gender Gap In IITs


Kolkata: Expressing his concern over “distressingly low” number of girls in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), President Ramnath Kovind said on Friday that the gender gap “continues to puzzle and concern me.”

He observed that even though girls outscore boys in board exams and perform well, the number of girls in IIT is “distressingly low”.

“When one considers board examinations at the secondary level, girls do very well. They often outscore boys. However, when it comes to the IITs, the numbers of girl students is distressingly low,” Kovind said while speaking at the 64th convocation ceremony at IIT Kharagpur. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeeand West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi were the guests of honour at the convocation.

Urging people to encourage girls, the President said, “In 2017, 10,878 students got admission into the undergraduate class of the IITs. Only 995 were girls. This cannot go on. We need to do something about these numbers.”

The national priority of the country is to enhance the participation of women in higher education and in the field of science and technology, Kovind said. The women workforce must also increase by the coming decade, he added.

Focusing on the importance of nurturing the future of girl child in India, Kovind said that “without providing the necessary opportunities for our girl children and our young women, the development of Indian society can never be complete.”

Calling IIT the largest member of the IIT family, President Ramnath Kovind said that “IIT Kharagpur community is a prized resource for India and for the world.”

IIT Kharagpur has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, to set up a Centre for Excellence in Big Data Analytics for Rural Development.

Kovind al solaid the foundation stones for Savitribai Phule Girls’ Hostel and APJ Abdul Kalam International Visitors’ Guest House today.

Mamata Banerjee, while congratulating the graduating students, said, “Don’t forget your country, your state or your teachers. Wherever you are, respect your motherland.”