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50% Increase in girls taking IIM entrance test in last 5 years

CAT 2018, the entrance test for the IIMs, saw 50% more women candidates than six years ago. This year, 84,350 women registered for the Common Admission Test (on November 25) compared to 56,409 in 2013. Women also contributed to over 50% growth in overall registrations from 2017. In all, there were 2.41 lakh aspirants this year, compared to 2.29 lakh last year, of whom 78,009 were women. Of the 12,000 more candidates who registered, 6,300 were women, revealed CAT registration data. 

The jump was the highest in 2015, when women candidates went up from 69,176 to 76,704. But total registrations also rose sharply in 2015. 

CAT convenor Sumanta Basu from IIM Calcutta (which conducted this year’s test) said, “The IIMs are consciously giving leverage to women to increase diversity in classrooms. We want more women in our institutes.” The IIMs have been reserving seats for women and non-engineers to make classes diverse. 

IIMs give extra points to ensure gender diversity 
IIM-Kozhikode was the first to set aside seats for women, in 2013. That year, 54% of the institute’s PGP (postgraduate programme in management) batch of 361 students comprised women; also, 60% of summer placement jobs went to them, said director Debashis Chatterjee. 

“A study has shown that there is no correlation between managerial positions and mathematical ability. There will be a gradual switch in the coming years, when class strength will be tilted in favour of girls,” said Chatterjee. 

IIMs have changed their eligibility criteria over the years. The weightage given to CAT differs for all IIMs. The parameters considered for shortlisting candidates for group discussion, personal interview and written ability test also include class X and XII scores. “Girls do better in school and higher secondary classes, but as families prefer sending boys for coaching for preparation of entrance exams, they may be doing better there,” said Chatterjee. Most IIMs even give about 5% additional points while shortlisting for gender diversity in classrooms. 

Prashanth Nair, centre director for Mumbai in a leading coaching institute, said they have definitely seen a rise in the number of girls in their coaching class. “As far as Mumbai is concerned, girls make up for 40% of our classrooms. There has been a gradual rise. There is increasing awareness about reservations and benefits IIMs are providing and therefore, the number of aspirants has risen too,” said Nair. 

[Source: The Economic Times]