Engineering has failed to attract girls while their number has been increasing in medical courses for last three years. The pre-engineering test (PET) has been witnessing only around 20% participation from girls every year while those taking the pre-medical test (PMT) make up 50% of the entire lot.
According to Madhya Pradesh Association of Technical Professional and Institutes (MPATPI), computer science and electronics communication have been the favorite branches for girls in engineering. However, given the low scope for placements after passing out in these disciplines, the number of girls opting for them has also started going down.
"Girls don't have to work outside in streams like computer science, electronics and communication-making these engineering branches a favorite among them. Branches like mechanical and civil are not highly preferred," said B S Yadav, spokesperson of MPATPI.
Admitting the lack of interest among girls for engineering studies, vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi Prodhyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV), professor Piyush Trivedi said, "I have a deep concern over the issue. There is an urgent need to attract girls for the engineering studies."
To bring about a change in the trend, RGPV has introduced special scholarships for girls from this year. "We have launched a scheme where top 50 female performers in PET will be given Rs 25,000 each as annual scholarships," he said. He had recently written a letter to MPATPI for making at least one engineering seat free for girl students in each college.
In 2011, 1,00,229 candidates appeared for PET where only 21,864 were girls. On the contrary, PMT had witnessed the participation of 11,447 girls out of 23,998 candidates.
The situation in 2012 was almost same. 24,370 girl students appeared for PET out of the 1,15,084 candidates. In the same year, 16,959 girls appeared for the PMT exam of the total 35,177 candidates.
In 2013, 22,223 girls participated in PET out of 1,02,748 candidates. In PMT, 34,574 candidates appeared of which 17,000 were girls.