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The gender skew

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The director of a top engineering school in India had some interesting figures to share. Till a few years back, the school’s admission process was based purely on marks scored in the Class 12 board exams. Till that system lasted, the ratio of female students on the campus was 40 per cent. The school has since shifted to an All-India Engineering Entrance Examination following a directive from the government. The shift has meant two things: one, roughly one in every 75 candidates gets admission and second, the percentage of female students has dropped to 14 per cent.


That’s a steep fall – something the director says should be a part of a research project. It’s intriguing indeed. At a time when girls’ grades in board exams are soaring while those of boys are stagnating and girls are outperforming boys in elementary school, middle school and high school, why is it that so few girls are succeeding in professional examinations? Surely, a fall in enrolment figures from 40 per cent to 14 per cent defies logic. Read More

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