Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Everyday, the internets teach me ...

... something new:

In 1969, Princeton University first admitted women as undergraduates.

The man who was Princeton's president at that time died yesterday. It's from the NYTimes obit that I learned about Princeton going co-ed so late.


  1. gaddeswarup said...

    Paul Robeson was born in Princeton but could not go to Princeton University since Princeton was not accepting African-Americans at that time. He went to Rutgers instead.

  2. Sangeeta Patni said...

    Is there any data about when the first woman was admitted to say, an IIT? A BITS? A IISc?

    I wonder if the fact is even known or mentioned by any lay historian. That may be because India in the vedic tradition did not put barriers to women getting educated. The god-in-charge of education, so to speak, is the Goddess Sarawati :)


  3. Anonymous said...

    Wow.. 1969?.. you do learn something new everyday....

  4. Anonymous said...

    John Nash went to Princeton when there were no girls there?? I had formed a different idea after watching "A beautiful mind", esp with the scene in the bar ;)

  5. Anonymous said...


    You didn't ask for COEP. But I will answer you anyway. At length!

    The first woman mechanical engineering graduate of COEP was Ms. Lila Poonawalla; she graduated in 1967. ... Somehow, when I entered COEP as a student in 1979, this fact wouldn't impress us guys at all---the social context was like that. It's only now that I see its significance. She was the MD of Alpha Laval in 1987--1996. ... This news did come as a bit of a surprise to me, given what I as a young engineer had heard and seen about industry, back then.

    The first woman graduate (of any branch) of engineering in India also came from COEP, one Mrs. Oosha Desai. However, I don't know anything more about her, e.g., her graduation year---though it's obvious that it must be some time before 1967.

    When I was a student at COEP (1979--1983), I always fully detested the reservation (i.e. quota) for women in the then most sought after branch at COEP, viz. E & TC.

    In those days, branching decisions would be made not after XII, but on the basis of the first-year merit---except for this girls' quota in E&TC (only). ... Just FYI, in those times, at the time of admissions after XII, there were no reservations for girls though there were reservations for backward castes. ... Today, there are quotas for both on the caste-basis and for girls right at the time of admissions after XII. The open-merit general category guys form less than 20% of COEP intake populations, these days, I have heard. (Just 13%, if what I have gathered is correct.)

    Reservations---and government expenditures---always increase. Bad, IMO. Even at COEP, branching decisions are now made right at the time of admissions. Bad, IMO.