With a sharp decline in the number of female students wishing to apply for admission in National Institute of Technology (NIT), the HRD Ministry is planning a solution for the same. The ministry is planning to introduce supernumerary (extra) seats for them from next year along the lines of IITs, sources said.

As per HT report, only 13 per cent female candidates took admission in the NITs this year as compared to 22 per cent last year. Officials attribute this fall to the Centre's decision of doing away with the system of allotting 40 per cent weightage to class 12 marks for determining rankings in the JEE.

"This is disadvantageous to female students, who have historically performed better than their male counterparts in class 12 exams," a source said.

Several NIT directors have raised the issue with the ministry, asking it to take a policy decision regarding this soon. An HRD official conceded that the decision to not consider the class 12 marks in preparing the final JEE ranks "could have impacted their (female students') ranks and the overall admission (number). The issue is being looked into," the official said.

Sources said in case a policy decision is taken to increase the number of seats for women candidates, it will not affect the existing seats for their male counterparts. Last year, 3,900 female students had taken admission which has come down to 2,500 this year.