In an effort to increase the number of girl students in Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country, the Union Human Resource Development (MHRD) has directed all IITs to prepare a separate merit list for girl students from 2018-19 academic session to ensure female representation on each IIT campus is 14 per cent.

According to the directives from the MHRD, a ‘separate vertical’ for girls will be published by the IIT authorities depending on the percentage of girls getting admission through the common merit list.

If any IIT has on its common merit list only 6 per cent girl students, then that IIT will have to come up with an extra girls-only merit list to ensure their 14 percentage in the admission process, according to MHRD directive.

The directive from the MHRD has come as a part of its long-term plan to increase the female representation on IIT campuses to 20 per cent of the total number of students by 2026.

"The MHRD instruction, asking for a separate merit list for girls, actually introduces reservation for girls without calling it that," a senior IIT official told TOI.

According the new directive, all 23 IITs (including the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad) will now have to increase the number of seats.

The total number of admissions across IITs in the country in 2018 will be 11,509, up from 10,988, the TOI reported.

According to media reports, the number of girls admitted to IITs in recent years has been around 9%. Last year, the percentage of girl students in IITs increased to 9.3 per cent from 8 percent in 2016.

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