These girls are different. When every girl was turning right, they turned left.

▴ BAJA SAEINDIA 2024
It's like a vicious circle. Girls don't opt for Mechanical because there aren't enough girls there. And there aren't enough girls there because they don't opt for it: Sirisha

Hyderabad, March 06, 2024…… Ahead of Women's Day we just met these girls.  These girls are different.  When every girl was turning right, they turned left. These were spotted at  BAJA SAEINDIA 2024, a national-level engineering students’ out-of-classroom education event currently underway at B V Raju Institute of Technology (BVRIT) at their Narsapur campus in the city outskirts

The campus was full of young boys and girls.  The event is the competition of design and fabrication of a single-seater All-Terrain electric buggy.  Nearly 2000 engineering students particularly from core branches such as Mechanical, Electrical and Automobile were participating from across India. 

Though boys outnumbered girls, still many girls were found.  They were trying to lift their single-seater buggy to a side, trying to fix tyres, and testing the all-terrain electric buggy they designed. We spoke to girls from the BVRIT Narsapur campus in Medak District and Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology, Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh.  There were other girls from different colleges across India

About 40 of them were from Telugu states. All are studying engineering streams such as Mechanical, Electrical and Automobile, which were perceived to be male-oriented.

 

Which engineering stream has the most girls? Computer Science right!!  Most girls have been enrolling in engineering opt for Computer Science, isn't it?  

 

However, there were many girls from core engineering streams such as Mechanical, Automobile, and Electrical.  We asked them how they managed to get into those streams. Didn’t they get resistance from their parents? 

 

Lasya, who is now working with Tata Motors in the Automobile sector said more and more companies in the automobile industry are recruiting girls.  Girls are getting good placements.  So more girls are getting into non-CSE streams, which were until now male-dominated. 

 

Mr. Sanjay Nibandhe, Chairman, of the Organising Committee of BAJA SAE India 2024 said you will be astonished to know that eight all-girl teams participated in hBAJA, which is about Hydrogen Vehicles.  This event was held in January.  A hydrogen vehicle is an alternative fuel vehicle that uses hydrogen as its onboard fuel.  This category we introduced this year, he said. It is a matter of great pride for Telugu as a girls' college Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology developed terrain buggies using Hydrogen technology, the emerging technology in the automobile industry, which they displayed to the whole nation in an event held in January this year.   

In all four different categories of events BAJA SAEINDIA organises, 3528 participants were male and 700 women shared Mr Hirotake Harada, Senior Vice President of Engineering of Renault Nissan Tech said.  The ratio of male to female participants is 5:1. This has to be changed.  He suggested that changes have to be made to the BAJA SAEINDIA 2024 rule book and registration guidelines to make the competition more inclusive.

 

BAJA SAEINDIA and Renault Nissan Tech are jointly working to improve diversity.  Deepti Singh, DGM Renault Nissan Tech, was appointed as Diversity Ambassador.  We are aiming to improve the gender ratio from 17% to 50% in the coming future. 

 

We talked to a few more girls at this event. The event comes for the first time to South India, to Hyderabad in the 17-year history of SAEIndia.  I didn’t want to get into stereotypical courses. That is why I chose Mechanical Engineering said B. Kanthi Sri from Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology, Bhimavaram. 

 

O Mahalakshmi from EEE from the same college said, we all want and use luxury items.  How do they come without the involvement of the electrical and Mechanical components of it? I am proud to be a student of EEE. 

 

Mechanics is not a small discipline.  The world runs on it. I am a proud Mechanical Engineer, A. Sai Likhitha from Bhimavaram said.

 

I'm a girl and a proud mechanical engineer. Like many other parents, my parents wanted me and also convinced me to go for IT-related Engineering streams. But I know my interest lies in mechanical, so here I am. I move fast on the shop floor, casting, and welding on par with boys or even better. Now I am more fascinated with working with machines. It is the most practical way of learning. Now I want to make a career in Mechanical Engineering said PSSN Surekha of Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology. 

 

Industrial floors and manufacturing activities have become more tech-savvy, smart, and modern. Unlike in the past, there is not much physical activity. A lot of activities are mechanised and automated and more convenient for women to work, said Anandita, Shahu College of Engineering, Aurangabad.

 

Mechanical is not for girls’ argument is nothing but stupid thinking. We are enjoying studying Mechanical Engineering: B. Kanthi Sri. It is no longer a man’s job. 

 

It's like a vicious circle. Girls don't opt for Mechanical because there aren't enough girls there. And there aren't enough girls there because they don't opt for it said Sirisha of BVRIT, Narsapur. I am very passionate about the non-CSE stream of engineering.  Mechanical engineering is probably one of the best things that has happened to me. Girls can also be mechanical engineers.

 

Mechanical Engineering is suitable for girls. They too can work in AC rooms with designing software like CATIA, and Auto CAD which don't require any physical work and beauty doesn't go added Srija, Sangeeta, Bhavana, Harsha Sri, Tejashwini, Bhavya Sri and Lakshmi Prasanna.

 

It is quite common that many parents don't want their daughter to be a mechanical engineer because an Immediate thing that comes to people's mind is tools like spanners, and hammers, applying lubricants (grease/oil) etc. But there are a different set of people to do such jobs added A Sai Likhitha, G. Geetika, LBKL Manikyamba and J Suprajadevi all from Sri Vishnu Institute of Technology. 

 

All said and done, mechanical engineering is now not the same as what it used to be before computers came into existence. In the past Engineers had to do a lot of physical work in harsh conditions. Now all core engineering divisions have evolved. with a lot of computer analytics, design software and research practices now it doesn't matter if you are a girl or a boy...only your passion matters.  And they are highly paid also.

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