Saturday, June 28, 2008

At WIIT's Ends?

If you're wondering what's WIIT, its Womens IIT. LOL.

It’s the IITs again. For starters, there are plans of and all-woman IIT being setup in Amravati, the hometown of our President. Reports say that the proposal has come from the Bhavan itself. What they seek to achieve through this medieval step is beyond me. Why would you want an all women IIT? It’s shocking that when the feminists talk of ‘equality’ and ‘women empowerment’, we still wish segregation as long as it can churn out means to fulfill our desires. When the Presidential elections were being held, the very basis on which the campaigning was done was the ‘woman’ tag. The strongest advocates of the feminist movements,(Shobaa De, Renuka Chowdhary and some others) opposed this, as the Presidential post is not one to be played around with.. It is purely based on merit alone.

Same is the case here. The argument given is that fewer no. of girls are getting into the IITs. But there is no deterring factor, is there? I have always maintained that merit should be the pure basis of selection. JEE is known to be tough and if you work hard, you get through. Otherwise, it’s not the end of the world, you know. The cause for the decline in no. of girl students maybe due to the fact that most people leave their homes and go to the coaching institutes in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh as they think it’s the sole path to the IITs. And parents won’t send the girl away from the house. Agreed the institutes do produce most of the IITians but have you ever bothered to count how many of them were actually freshers? If you study well enough, you can get in, irrespective of whether you are at home or in a coaching institute. So I don’t think that the current system is unfair to the girls.

College years, especially the 4-5 years of the graduation are said to be the crucial years of life. Most of the experience you gain from here (not only academic but also social) tends to reflect in your career and life. Interaction with a variety of people and learning to adjust to situations are all the traits picked up at college. As the working women are bound to interact with their male counterparts (they being a majority), the college (being a co-ed institute) experiences will help them cope with different situations and handle them adeptly. Assuming a women’s IIT is made, what will be the kind of students it will produce? How will they cope with the work pressure and the gender bias (which does exist, despite the rosy picture companies portray)? Well yeah, the good ones will surely excel but that is the case everywhere. They will excel even without having gone to an all girls college. So a women’s IIT is an unnecessary step. And how comfortable will the professors (most of them male, at least in engineering education) be, in an all girls’ class?

The no. of girls in engineering is in fact, on the rise, at least in the NITs (where I and some of my friends study). If they can do well enough to get through AIEEE, a bit more effort will see them through to IIT.

So why, then, should we have a WIIT?

In that case, let us a build a separate institute for women in each of the professional course offered in India like B Com, BA, Medical studies, Fashion design, BMM. Oh wait, these have a good no. of women.

Should it be men’s institute for these then?

I said for starters earlier. Main course to follow soon. Or if this is main course, then dessert soon.


Vasavadatta.Y.T said...

Good point raised.
It is jarring that the 'uplifters of the downtrodden' (in India, dunno about outside) think that the only recourse to 'backwardness' is a quota somewhere. Which makes it most convenient for those partaking of the reservation pudding, and us silent observers get a lot of entertainment out of watching 'marginalised' (read:more votes) sections of society fall over each other in the race to achieve the tag of 'backward', 'more backward' and 'most backward', which, apparently, is the ticket to get tagged as 'forward'.
Backward Ho!

As to WIITs, well, its a stupid idea. As far as empowering women of this country goes, a greater amount can be achieved by ensuring better primary schooling for the girl child, ensuring TV connectivity in villages and stuff to make the women more aware of their rights. More governmental support to SHGs would help women in rural areas, as they, rather than potential IIT students, are the ones who make our womenfolk, as a collective entity, 'backward'.

Estranged Strangely said...

Boo ya!
I couldn't have put it better myself. All this bullshit about feminism, sucks, dick, ass and tit. Why don't they concentrate on making society more individualistic and real, rather than aiming to achieve a utopian world which is nigh impossible?
The answer, is vote bank politics.

Estranged Strangely said...

P.S. Cassavadatta rocks.

JD said...

yeah i agree wid a lot of it.. They're creating an IIT for everything these days. This will undoubtedly lead to a dilution of quality of IIT students. I mean, cmon, IIT means something here, and everywhere else. You just keep opening a new one and keep making quotas at the drop of a hat, that name, earned by people over a period of 50 years, will be eroded away in a flash.

But then, only around 300 girls qualify each year in JEE. With all the talk of gender equality, that doesn't seem too equal to me. Is that a problem? If so, is primary education the solution? Even with girls with proper education upto 12th and access to coaching classes etc, I've known almost no one to succeed.

WIIT is definitely not the solution, but then, what is ??