By Sharanya Gopinathan
On November 8th 2016, the Indian government suddenly decided that 86 percent of the country’s legal tender was illegal, and decided to print new Rs 2000 notes to compensate. In the midst of all these massive changes (that ultimately resulted in 1.5 million jobs being lost) though, they forgot that the size of the new notes wouldn’t fit old ATMs. Didn’t you feel like people smart enough to mastermind such a huge plan should really have remembered to address such a laughably obvious problem?
You get the same sort of feeling that the intelligent folks over at IIT Delhi should have remembered that if they’re taking actions to get more women into IITs, they should have also realised that the women need a place to sleep when they get there.
In June, it was reported that IIT had launched a website that acts as a help desk for women seeking information on life at IIT, particularly on the hostels and residential facilities the college provides, in a bid to address data that showed that even women who do get into IIT prefer not going, and instead enrolling in colleges close to their home towns due to their parents’ safety concerns.
Today, the Hindustan Times reports that a 30 percent increase in women students admitted to IIT Delhi meant that there was a severe shortage of accommodation, leading some women students to be asked to sleep on mattresses spread on the floor in a building meant for associate professors, in what officials say is a temporary measure until proper accommodation can be arranged.
The massive lack of planning and facilities for women students in IITs feels even more ironic when you think of all the big measures that IITs are taking to get more students into their institutions. From 2018, they’re planning to institute a 14 percent quota for female students in order to correct massive gender imbalances, which is great, but it might be a good idea to figure out exactly how they’re going to live, study and sleep once they get there.
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