- Girl students prefer three-year degree course
- In IITs, the number of girls is way too less
- Only 13 per cent of girls qualified for the JEE advanced test
Girls are showing interest to join conventional three-year degree courses more than the fancied engineering stream in various states across the country. Even the bright girl students are queuing up to join leading colleges to pursue undergraduate courses in arts, humanities and social sciences.
Getting an admission in the prestigious IITs (Indian Institute of Technology), considered the number one technical education institutions in the country, is a dream of many a high school and college going students after plus two study, but the fairer sex do not seem interested.
If one looks at JEE (Advanced) test, the number of girls writing and clearing the JEE (Advanced) entrance test is seen to be very low. Even this year it was no different. Only 13 per cent of female candidates qualified, from the entire country in the entrance test. Of the 31,988 students that cleared the test, female candidates number is just 4179, while that of males is 27, 809.
If we consider the scenario in Telangana, girls’ enrolling into degree colleges is almost 50 per cent and the number is much higher than when it comes to B.Ed (Bachelor of Education) admissions after completion of degree.
In the Online Degree counselling for admissions into different UG courses in colleges in Telangana, nearly 2.03 lakh students took admissions out of which half of them were girl students.
Take the case of Nizam College, one of the oldest degree colleges in Hyderabad, and most sought after one by students for three-year degree study.
Dr P Himabindu, HoD (Physics) and assistant professor at Nizam College, elicited her views and reasons for girls’ preference for conventional degree courses.
The cut-off percentage for admissions was above ninety per cent for girls belonging to different categories. This goes to show that meritorious students are choosing three-year degree study no less than professional courses.
The reasons as pointed by teaching faculty are that there is no family pressure on daughters to select professional courses like engineering that is most commonly seen with sons in the family. Girls aiming for Civils or aspiring for post-graduation and research are found to prefer this form of UG study. Also, for those wishing to get into teaching profession or aiming for competitive exams like bank recruitments or any suitable job after completion of study, three-year course is the attractive option. Families have no complaints if their daughters chose three-year degree study because they can get admission in a near-by college in the place they live thus removing any security worries for parents. Also, parents planning early marriages of their daughters, especially in rural areas, suggest their children to join conventional UG study.
Himabindu points out that less interest for IITs among girls is that parents are very protective of their daughters and do not wish to send them to far-off cities and places where IITs are located. Instead they are very content if their daughter gets a good rank in state engineering entrance test and joins a leading engineering college in their city, she added.
- Shweta, an outgoing B.Sc (Bio-technology) student at Nizam, stated that her aim was to become a Scientist and hence she joined the three-year degree course. She wants to complete her PG and get into research for which conventional UG course is the best option.
G.Soundarya, who just completed B.Sc (MPE-Maths Physics Economics) from this college aims to crack UPSC Civils exam in the near future. Conventional UG course could be completed in no time giving her eligibility to appear for the toughest exam.
UGC member Dr Sushma Yadav stated that high number of girls joining three-year undergraduate has got to do with parents’ preference mostly and not the girl’s herself.
“In a family if there is a son and a daughter, the first preference of the parents is to spend extra on education of their son comparatively than daughter. While son is always encouraged to study engineering that costs higher, the family is okay if the daughter opts for conventional degree course that costs much lesser than engineering. Parents try to invest their hard earned money on son’s professional education while with girls they are not very particular and try to cut down costs as much as possible. This mindset is seen in mostly middle class and lower middle class sections. It is one of the main reasons why girl’s enrolment is high in degree colleges than engineering colleges,” Dr Sushma felt.
The UGC member said that mindset of people is, however, changing for good. If a family has only daughters as children, parents have no choice but to encourage and invest on girl’s higher education with several of them even sending abroad for further studies