Discrimination Does Exist—Say IIT Bombay Students The tale of discrimination in our education system is not new. And to prove this biased phenomenon is the recent revelation made by 56% first-year students at IIT-Bombay campus. These students come from various categories like SCs, STs and OBCs. They strongly believe that discrimination is common in the IIT-Bombay campus and perceived in a very discreet manner.

A number of studies done in the past reveal that the success rate was highly biased in favor of students with high-income background. Although institutions have looked at the issue of discrimination at IIT campuses many times, this is the first time when an institution has tried to explore the situation on the basis of region, language, caste, religion and category of the students.

According to the report, 69 percent fresh students don’t feel any type of caste discrimination while 28 percent of them have experienced it indirectly and only 3 percent have witnessed it first-hand.

The survey was carried out in July 2013. It was conducted on first year IIT-Bombay students. A questionnaire with 25 questions was sent online to them at their official IIT Bombay email address.

“The campus attracts students from highly different backgrounds each year, which is why certain biases are bound to exist. Also, the transition to life in a big city like Mumbai and the IIT system can vary severely because of these biases. Hence, the primary motivation for undertaking this survey was to find out these biases and to look at whether the institute made any attempts to bring students at a level footing,” said Chirag Chadha, an IIT Bombay student.

According to the survey, the key difference among between students form general and other categories is due to their academic performances. No difference is caused by any negative sentiments.

The average cumulative performance index of general category, OBC and SC/ST students is 8.09, 6.6 and 5.9, respectively.

“This was a demoralising factor that hit them hard when they got their results. The conclusion that can be drawn is that the discrimination against reserved category students is not direct and open, but indirect and discreet. The major disparity between students of general and reserved categories is the extra academic stress perceived by reserved category students,” said the report.

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