2000 North Eastern School Students to attend the IITs
Over the summer and winter breaks, the IITs will host a total of 2016 school students and provide internships to 250 college students from the North East region of India under a new type of affirmative action program called ‘Ishaan Vikaas’.
Under this program, the 16 IITs will play host to students of classes IX and XI and provide them with a uniquely IIT educational experience. The students will attend lectures, visit classrooms and laboratories, while having an IITian as their mentor in the hope that exposure to IITs’ education paradigm will spur the students onward towards greater scholastic achievement.
The college students invited will work on well-defined research problems while being paid a monthly stipend of Rs. 8000.
This move has been prompted by the Prime Minister’s call for integration of the North East region, as well as the highly limited presence of North Eastern students across the various IIT campuses. This year only 191 students from the region have cleared the JEE (Advanced). In total they make up just 0.7% of IITians, a highly disproportionate number considering that the North East accounts for over 3.1% of India’s population.
Given that this program is buckling the usual trend of providing ‘disadvantaged’ groups with reservation, do you think it can be successful in reaching out to students all across the North East?
Could this be the dawn of a new (and smarter) type of affirmative action in India?