Choice of engineering education among girls in India - the journey so far

P. M. Geethalakshmi, Sumam David, Vinod V. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Gender disparity in engineering enrolment is quite significant although there is only a very narrow gap in girls’ enrollment in higher education in India. The overall enrolment of girls in engineering programs is 27.5%. By affirmative action of introducing supernumerary quota for girls, Ministry of Education targets to increase the enrolment of girls which was 8% and 14 % respectively in IITs and NITs in 2016-17 to 20% in 2020-21. Therefore, it is essential to explore the reasons behind the reluctance of girls in choosing engineering education, even when the nature of engineering jobs has evolved to be gender neutral. It is even more significant now when National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is targeting to achieve a Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of 50 % by 2035 from the current 27 %. This paper reviews the existing studies to understand the nature of influence of both external and internal factors and their interaction on the girls’ choice of higher education. Literature review of the research articles for two decades was conducted. It includes both published and unpublished work on the subject. There are no studies conducted nationwide, post 2004 to address the reasons for disproportionate representation of girls in engineering education in India. It is found that the findings are contextual in nature with respect to culture of the society. In, particular, the influence of parental perception influences the association of gender with engineering studies, among the girls. Awareness and exposure of the nature of engineering jobs among parents and the girls can bring in the desired change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Engineering Education Transformations
Volume34
Issue numberSpecial Issue
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Development
  • Engineering(all)

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