Written by: Swasti Acharya
Student life is rarely easy. An engineering student’s life? Even less so. A chirpy, studious, and determined girl, Vibhuti* enjoys studying.
- 21 years old
- Living with family in Mumbai
Two minutes into our conversation, her goals become clear: “In India, if you see… girls study more, and this is good because we will become more independent. I want to become an independent person.”
Against a wall painted a bougainvillea pink, she perches on her bed and says, “I’m very much into studies. I didn’t do my 11 and 12. I skipped that.” Wait, skipped the last two years of school? Why? “I did a Diploma. We can skip 11 and 12. We don’t have to give the JEE and all of those things.”
JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) is a standardised test for admission to undergraduate programs in technical disciplines like engineering and architecture. In 2022, over 8 lakh high schoolers across the country registered for the JEE Main exam. Students also have the option to take the JEE Advance exam which is the admission test required to gain admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IITs).
Like most middle class families, the hype around Engineering is pivoted on the aspirational mobility it is expected to confer. “The scope of engineering is good, you know, all of those things? That's how I got into engineering,” she concurred.