IITs and NITs will now be ranked on how many women they educate and employ


  • The ministry of science and technology will now rank institutions — offering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) education — on gender equality, according to the Times of India report.
  • As many as 20 Indian institutions — including the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Science (NITs) — have joined hands to facilitate it.
  • The ministry will rate the institutions as gold, silver and bronze based on the number of women scientists, faculty and research fellows.
  • The move is aimed to ‘recruit, retain and promote’ women in the STEM education sector.
Indian universities should strive to achieve something that has been taking for granted for long - gender equality.

To ensure that they do, the ministry of science and technology will now rank institutions — on gender equality, according to the Times of India report. These ranks however will be for those offering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) courses.

As many as 20 Indian institutions — including Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Science (NITs) — have joined hands to facilitate it. The government aims to rope in over 90 institutions as a part of the new grading system.
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“Our policy will initially include 20 institutes which will adopt a self-assessment process to develop an accreditation model to help identify gender gaps and barriers to progression faced by women in science based on interviews with them,” Sanjay-Mishra, head of KIRAN division at the department of science and technology (DST) told TOI. DST, along with British Council, will give ratings to institutions.

The ministry will rate the institutions as gold, silver and bronze based on the number of women across verticals — including science faculty, research fellows and scientists and those sent for PhD programmes.

Gold accreditation will recognise institutions that have attained gender equality in its educational programmes — and act as role models to those promoting women participation. Sliver, on the other hand will recognise those institutions that are implementing practices to overcome challenges in gender neutral approach and bronze will list those institutions that are working to promote equality.
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What accelerated the development?

India slipped four spots to 112th in the Global Gender Gap Index 2020, according to the World Economic Forum — which said that it will take nearly 100 years to attain gender parity across education, healthcare, politics and economy.

The move is aimed to ‘recruit, retain and promote’ women in STEM areas. As per the report, women constitute merely 15% of faculty positions in science. In the research programmes, women account for a third of the PhD awardees.
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“This will definitely give a much needed thrust to the inclusion of women in academia. However a key challenge will be to define the terms of how institutions will effectively measure gender equality. They should not merely execute gender equality on paper, rather it should ensure inclusion in education and employment,” Neeti Sharma, VP, TeamLease Services told Business Insider.

In fact, women constitute only 5% of the total research fellows at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). The total budget of the project is ₹8 crore.

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