A record 31% of women have been admitted to the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, in the current batch of 2017-19. This is the highest representation of women ever seen by the government institution, including its Ahmedabad and Bangalore branches, in recent times.
“The girls performed incredibly well in the interview and got through on their own steam,” IIM-C admission chairperson Pritam Basu told TOI. However, Basu admitted that women were marked up “a little” after the CAT scores and at the pre-interview stage.
In 2016, women got three extra points out of 100 at the pre-interview stage. “This year, girls got two extra marks out of a total 50 marks (or 4%). This mark-up is part of a deliberate policy change to bring more gender diversity on the campus,” Basu said.
The Calcutta branch of the government management institution has been a big driver of change in gender diversity through the years. The management of the institution has maintained a 20%-22% representation of women on an average basis over the past few years. However, the 2016 batch saw a straight drop when only 16.4% women were admitted. This drop was acknowledged by the institution authorities.
“There has been no official mandate but the institute has always aimed at having a more diverse classroom,” economics professor and former IIM-C dean Anindya Sen said.
Another premier government institution, the Indian Institution of Technology (IIT), has also stepped up to have more representation of women in its institutions across India. The Joint Admission Board (JAB) took the decision at the beginning of this year to reserve a supernumerary quota of 14% from 2018.
A member of the JAB had said then, “The supernumerary quota has been created to combat gender imbalance. Already the number of female aspirants taking the entrance is less. Even if they don’t qualify under general category, women will be admitted through the supernumerary quota.”