In a first, two girls break IIT-JEE's top 10 barrier

In a first, two girls have made it to the list of top 10 scorers in the Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced), IIT officials said. The results for the entrance exam, conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), were announced on Friday.

"For the first time in the history of JEE, two girls are among the top 10 ranks,"

H C Gupta, Organising Chairman of IIT-Delhi said.

The results were expected on June 23, but were declared earlier. "We wanted to send out information to students from remote corners, who do not have access to the Internet," Gupta said.

With 320 of 360 marks, Aditi Laddha from Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, ranked sixth. S Leena Madhuri from Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, scored 314 and is eighth.

Aditi said she expected to feature among the top 20 and being ranked sixth was a surprise. "I want to study Computer Science at IIT, Bombay," Aditi, who went to Kota to prepare, said.

This year, IIT had introduced changes in the exam pattern to discourage students from relying on coaching centres. Despite that, 16-year-old Leena says she owes her success to a coaching institute in Hyderabad. "I took coaching at Narain Olympiad Programme. The syllabus has been designed keeping the engineering entrance tests in mind," Leena said.

While these two girls have made it to the top 10, the general trend in girls' performance has not seen a considerable shift from previous years, IIT officials said.

Of 21,110 students who qualified in IIT-JEE (Advanced), only 2,392 were girls. Director of IIT-D R Shevgaonkar said, "Eleven per cent of the girls have been called for counselling. The figure is only slightly lower than last year."

Sai Sandeep Reddy (17), who topped the exam, says he was confident of performing well. "I was very happy to see the result, but it wasn't a surprise," Sai said.

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