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Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
India’s brightest.
LIFE AT SCHOOL

An average IIT fresher is a virgin, quite religious and politically liberal

By Suneera Tandon

The fascination with the lives of India’s brightest students inside the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has spawned paperback best-sellers and Bollywood blockbusters.

The obsession with the IITs perhaps has to do with how selective they are: Only about 0.7% out of over a million applicants get through the rigorous admission tests.

But who exactly are the students who make it to the hallowed portals of the IITs? At IIT-Bombay, at least, they’re quite religious, sexually conservative, and politically liberal.

Inspired by the Harvard Crimson’s Freshman Survey, conducted by Harvard University’s newspaper, IIT-Bombay surveyed 254 freshmen—out of a class of 875—from the 2015 batch to get a better understanding of its student body. This is the first such survey ever conducted by IIT-Bombay.

Here’s what the survey uncovered: