IIT Roorkee enrolls female candidates under SAKUNTALA Fellowship for a full-time Ph.D.programme

Roorkee: SAKUNTALA (Scheme for Aspirants of Knowledge UNderTALent Advancement) Fellowship is an unique scheme of the institute approved by theSenate of Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITRoorkee). The SAKUNTALA Fellowship is an initiative to facilitatehigher education for female engineering students in the institute. Under this programme, girl students will have an opportunity to nurture their talent in their chosen field and join research work on the campus. Through this fellowship programme, girl students of the centrally funded technical institutes(CFTIs) who are now pursuing engineering courses, or have graduated already, will be able to apply for admission into the IIT Roorkee Ph.D.programsstarting with the first admission cycle of the year 2022 (Autumn Semester).

The students admitted under this fellowship will be provided with the same fellowship amount and all other similar facilities which are provided under the regular Institute Assistantship scheme.

The 52ndmeeting of the Institute Research Committee held on November 30, 2021, had proposed the fellowship scheme which was approved by the 89th Senate of the Institute on December 9, 2021. In this scheme, any female candidate having a B.Tech./B.E./B.Arch./B.Des.A Degree from CFTIs with a minimum CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) score of 8.5 or higher on the lO-point scale will be eligible for direct admission into a Ph.D. programme. A major relaxation for the aspirants of higher education under the SAKUNTALA scheme is that the candidates do not need a GATE/CEED/National Level examination score for applying to the Ph.D. programmes of the Institute. The selection for the admission will be carried out through interviews in the corresponding departments or other academic units. The Institute has also allowed admission of eligible candidates without any restriction in the number of seats.

The initiative has been considered as one of the significant outputs of the institute in its continued efforts to increase the number of girl students. Currently, the number of girl students in the engineering disciplines of the institute is less than that in the sciences or management disciplines. The academic fraternity is appreciative of the scheme stating that the novel initiative shall contribute towards minimizing the disparity in the gender ratio in the leading educational institute. The Board of Governors of the institute, in its recently held meeting, noted this scheme as one of the significant steps that aligns with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Talking about this initiative, Prof. Apurbba Kumar Sharma, Dean of Academic Affairs, IIT Roorkee, said “SAKUNTALA Fellowship offered by IIT Roorkee is an unique initiative in the Indian higher education system to advance the engineering careers of aspiring females. This initiative will benefit many deserving and talented female graduates from CFTIs who fail to appear in GATE/CEED etc. owing to various reasons. A fellowship like this will also help the institute bridge the gender gap.”


Prof. Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, remarked,“IT Roorkee has taken this initiative to improve the number of women research scholars in our Engineering departments. We expect it to make a visible impact and hopefully many other institutions will follow this scheme or something similar to improve gender diversity in Engineering disciplines..”

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