While the IITs have introduced a special quota for girl students this year to strike the gender balance in the prestigious institutes, an initiative by the CBSE is helping girls crack the JEE.
Project 'Udaan' has helped 135 girl students to clear the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Mains for admission in engineering colleges this year. The scheme assists girl students with an overall score of 70% or above, and 80% in science and mathematics stream, with free of cost tutorials, mentoring support, lectures and study material to prepare for engineering entrance examinations. Virtual contact classes are also organised in 60 designated cities. Helpline services provide doubt clarification and monitor student learning.
"The project motivates meritorious girls towards further study of science and mathematics instead of soft subjects. It hand-holds them and provides necessary training. The scheme relies on latest technology which gives ease of learning to a girl student without having to step out of her home on a daily basis. The study materials are pre-loaded on tablets and made convenient with mobile applications," CBSE Chairman RK Chaturvedi told PTI.
According to the statistics available with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), 135 girls cleared the JEE-Mains exam this year with the help of the 'Udaan' initiative. Last year, the number of qualifying girl students was 143. "It has been seen that the participation of girl students in engineering entrance examinations as compared to boys is much lower. More than 75% of the registered candidates are boys. The idea is to mainstream girl students and prepare them for future leadership roles by removing social, economic or cultural constraints," Chaturvedi said.
The scheme is limited for students from families with an annual income of less than Rs 6 lakh. Besides subject experts, students from IITs are also serving as mentors, and motivational tours to IIT Delhi are also arranged under the scheme.
Concerned over the skewed gender ratio at IITs, the government had in April approved a supernumerary quota of upto 20 percent for girl candidates.