Women’s enrolment in higher education, which was less than 10% of the total enrolment on the eve of Independence, has risen to 48.6% in 2018-19. But share of male students enrolled in engineering and technology is 71.1% compared to female enrolment, which is just 28.9%. The enrolment of females was lower in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) in comparison to the overall enrolment of women.
Main issues in female enrolment
Social- Lower marriageable age and societal outlook of seeing women as a burden. In male dominated society, priorities are given to marriage and motherhood for girls to their education and career development. Social expectation also plays an important role in women access to education. Parents are bound to save the income for their daughters’ marriage and typically not willing to use it on their education. As a result, daughters are sent to low fee structured government colleges while their sons are sent to high fee structured technical or professional colleges.
Economic Factors- Poverty is one of the major factors preventing children from getting access to . Hence, it is necessary for the parents to rethink that should they invest in their daughters’ marriage or education
Safety- Another factor affecting women’s higher education is traditional practices associated with adolescence which are related to the construction of sexuality of young boys and girls (Women who enter the tertiary education sector are subjected to subtle environmental challenges such as inconvenient sanitary facilities, verbal abuse and sexual harassment that make their academic and social life more difficult . They tend to limit the freedom of girls to participate in higher education
Post Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl
UDAAN: An initiative of the Central Board of Secondary Education to enable disadvantaged girl students and other students from SC/ST and minorities to transit from school to post-school professional education especially in Science and Math through free and online resources.
PRAGATI (Providing Assistance for Girls’ Advancement in Technical Education Initiative)PRAGATI is an AICTE scheme envisages selection of one girl per family where family income is less than 6 lakhs per annum on merit at the qualifying examination to pursue technical education.
Women’s Studies Centres or Women’s Development Cells in universities and colleges are major facilitators in the process of encouraging women’s equality through gender sensitisation
Government policies in India like UDAAN and PRAGATI aim to improve the quality of education for the development of technical skill of women and to increase the enrolment of girls in higher technical courses. However, it is a need to endorse these government schemes and popularize them nationwide so that a higher number of girls from all areas can get benefitted. Also, government should promote a gender balance and safe environment in the institutions