More girl students would get admission in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) from the 2018 academic session as the admission board has approved a quota of “supernumerary” seats for women, reports PTI.

Supernumerary seats means over and above the existing seats, which means the number of general seats won’t be hit.

In case the girl students vacate their seats, those too will be filled by other girls.

Move will arrest the declining number of women in IITs

Concerned over the fall in the number of girl students getting admission to the IITs, the Joint Admission Board (JAB) had set up a panel last year, under the chairmanship of professor Timothy Gonsalves to find ways to improve the situation in the institutes, an HRD ministry official said.

In 2014, women formed 8.8 percent of all seats in IITs. The number rose to 9 percent in 2015 but fell to 8 percent in 2016, reports The Times of India.

Number to touch 20 percent  by 2026

The panel had earlier this year suggested creating up to 20 percent supernumerary seats for girls out of the total number of seats in the IITs.

The implementation of the reservation will be done in a phased manner so that by 2026, it reached 20 percent.

“The percentage of the supernumerary seats will be decided every year. The increase will not affect the existing number of seats for men and the changes would be implemented over a maximum of eight years. Also, the seats vacated by woman students will be filled by a woman candidates only,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.

The move has got mixed reactions: