Enrolment of female students in undergraduate courses of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has increased from 8 per cent in 2016 to 20 per cent in 2021, according to data from the Ministry of Education (MoE).

Sharing the information in Rajya Sabha in response to a question, Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar said there has been a consistent improvement in the enrolment of female students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses.

"To improve female enrolment in undergraduate programmes in IITs, supernumerary seats were created which increased female enrolment from 8 per cent in 2016 to 20 in 2021-22. Similarly, the enrolment of girls in NITs has increased to nearly 22.1 per cent in 2021-22," he said.

The University Grants Commission provides special post-graduate scholarships for girl students across the country to encourage them in pursuing higher education and research. Similarly, the All India Council for Technical Education is also providing 10,000 scholarships to girls pursuing technical education.

As per the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) Report, the number of female students enrolled in STEM courses has increased from 41.97 lakh in 2016-17 to 43.87 lakh in 2020-21.