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Problems Of Women Engineers In India

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.330.1 - 2.330.3



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A. Janaki Rao

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B.K. Darshan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Prof. A. Janaki Rao Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering Andhra University, Visakhapatnam-530 003 (A.P) India and Mr. B.K. Darshan, Member, UNIDO Managing Director National Institute of Technical and Management Education, New Delhi

1. INTRODUCTION : India with a population of 900 million people is one of the largest producer of engineers and scientists having 4 16 engineering colleges producing 1 ,O 1,45 1 engineers per year and 1029 polytechnics producing 1,66,458 diploma holders. Women represent only 15% in engineering colleges and about 20% in polytechnics. Indian society is characteristic in its own way. Caste and class factors greatly influence the women’s entry into education in general and technical education in particular. The socio economic and cultural aspects of the society also have great role in this regard. Women from urban areas are comparatively doing well but women from rural areas and socially and economically backward castes’ representation is very poor. The selection for professional courses in India is by an entrance test. There is a severe competition for professional education in India (about 200,000 students compete for about 6000 seats in the state of Andhra Pradesh only). This requires special effort and coaching and students have to prepare specially for the entrance examination. A recent study by the author revealed that girls work for 2 hours in domestic help in addition to their studies where as boys do not help at all.

2. PROBLEM OF ENTRY INTO ENGINEERING COLLEGE : (i) The problem starts with the coaching classes for engineering entrance examinations. The coaching classes either start too early in the day or run too late into the night, which is considered to be unsafe for girls in our society.

(ii) For the parents it is a big loss to give professional education to a daughter, since anyway they have to spend an equally or even larger sum for her marriage and the earnings of the professional pursuits will ultimately benefit her in laws. Thus the social traditions, as they are, big disincentives for the parents to think of professional education for their daughters.

(iii) The engineer - bride has lesser chances in the matrimonial field compared to a medico, who is more easily accepted for her ability to render professional service to the family, while her engineering counterpart will have a dominating profession, which is less acceptable to the male ego of the day.

Rao, A. J., & Darshan, B. (1997, June), Problems Of Women Engineers In India Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6743

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