Social & Gender Diversity Deficiency at the IIT Kharagpur

Egalitarians, on 28th April 2021, has approached the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur  (IIT Kharagpur) seeking caste and gender diversity details in PhD admissions and teaching  faculty composition, under the Right to Information (RTI) act 2005 (a copy of the RTI  application is attached herewith). To which, the institute has responded on 12th of May 2021  (we have received the same on 17th May 2021, a copy of the response is also attached herewith). 

Against the constitutionally mandated reservation of 7.5% for Scheduled Tribes (STs), 15%  for Scheduled Castes (SCs), 27% for Other Backward Castes (OBCs), and 10% for  Economically Weaker Sections (EWSs), in the academic session 2020-21, out of the total 905  students enrolled for PhD at the IIT Kharagpur, the STs, SCs, OBCs and EWSs were 2.43%,  10.06%, 22.54%, and 4.64% respectively. Similarly, the caste diversity of candidates who have enrolled for PhD in the academic sessions 2018-19 and 2019-20 (see Table 1) also exposes IIT  Kharagpur’s tacit complicity in following the constitutional mandate. 

Table 1

The institute does not fare any better in terms of gender diversity too. In the academic session  2020-21, of the total 905 candidates who have enrolled for PhD only 305 are female – that is  33.7 per cent (the respective gender diversity figures in PhD admission for 2018-19 and 2019- 20 are given in Table 2). An interesting fact is that 3 transgender candidates have also applied for PhD in the 2020-21 sessions.  One of them was shortlisted for selection. However, none of them were enrolled.

Table 2

Of the total 44 departments, 29 (65.9%) have zero ST candidate, 15 (34.1%) have zero SC  candidate, 8 (18.2%) have zero OBC candidate, and 4 (9.1%) have zero female candidate (for  the diversity deficiency in 2018-19 & 2019-20 sessions, see Table 3).

Table 3

When it comes to faculty diversity, the picture is far more distorted. Of the total 618 faculties, one (0.15%) belong to the ST community, 10 (1.5%) are from the SC community, 27 (4.1%)  are from the OBC community, and 88 (13.5%) are female, while 94.2% of the faculty are from  the General category (see Table 4 for cadre wise breakage).

Table 4

IIT Kharagpur (the first IIT) was established in the year 1951. For about two decades IITs in  India were enjoying ‘autonomy’ in admissions and hiring. Even after 50 years since the IITs  were brought under the ambit of affirmative action (from 1971) to allocate seats for SCs and  STs, the caste and gender diversity is unpardonably homogenous. The excuse that the institute  (IITKGP) did not get adequate application from the SCs, STs, women and transgender is  hogwash, for the RTI data shows otherwise. What can explain the institute’s abysmal social  and gender diversity even after getting sufficiently large number of applications (see RTI response from the IIT Kharagpur, attached in the appendix) from the SC, ST, Female and Transgender communities? This  is nothing less than institutionalized injustice. Egalitarians reminds the institute (IIT  Kharagpur) of its social contract with the Indian society. It is high time that the institute obeys what is constitutionally mandated. 

Appendix (Click here ➟ Links 1 & 2)

  1. The RTI application, dated 28th April 2021.
  2. The response from the IIT Kharagpur, dated 12th May 2021.

Published by Egalitarians India

Egalitarians is a leaderless, voluntary, and not-for-profit group deeply committed to the principle of equality. We are a group of volunteers working with a common understanding for a common goal of creating a casteless egalitarian society.

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