... Back in 1972, of the 342 seats for the BTech course, IIT-Bombay had merely six girl students. In the intervening decades, the proportion remained more or less the same. In fact, even 30 years later, it had not more than 13 girls studying on its Powai campus. The change has come about in the last five years.
That's from Hemali Chhapia's report in the ToI [Hat tip: Confused]. She tries to put a very positive spin on this year's results for women. Where she errs, I think, is in conflating numbers and percentages. There have been years in which women's presence in certain IITs went upto as high as 8 percent [but this percentage never went into double digits], but their absolute numbers were small because their intake itself was small.
Chhapia also informs us that there are two women in the top 100 ranks this year. She has some more info on the topper among women: Ankita Sharma from Anushakti Nagar (BARC's residential complex):
... The 18-year-old had appeared for the JEE last year too, but was placed way down in all-India rankings at 2,366.
A student of BARC Junior College, Ankita then packed her bags and joined a residential coaching class for a year. "My focus and concentration has paid off now," Ankita said.
This is what she told the Indian Express:
“I stayed in Kota (Rajasthan) for eight months with my mother to study at a coaching school. I returned just a month before JEE,” she said.
... and CNN-IBN:
I think more girls should take this exam. In my class, there were 80 boys and five girls who were preparing for it. There are very few girls who took the exam. Otherwise the ranks for girls would have been better.
CNN-IBN's Shreya Dhoundial also remarks on the disconnect between IIT results and the results of board exams (such as the CBSE):
It’s a trend that is completely opposite to the CBSE board results where girls have been out performing the boys for the last 10 years.
But she also makes the mistake of sticking the mike in front of a moron, and compounds it by polluting the airwaves with his views:
“There maybe some part of the brain is not working for the female as it is working for the male. But I am sure the main reason is that they are not doing the application base studies,” says Consultant, Narayana Institute, Kamleshwar Dwivedi.
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On a slightly different note, ToI reports that almost 18 percent of the JEE takers were from the Other Backward Castes. It didn't, however, give the number of OBC candidates who got through JEE.