Science Congress highlights opportunities for women to overcome hurdles to pursue science

The 9th Women Science Congress (WSC) organised as part of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore showcased the achievements of women scientists and motivated young women to actively participate in science to identify and find simple solutions to a range of problems through Science and Technology.

Dr. Tessy Thomas, Director General, Aeronautical Systems, DRDO highlighted the remarkable contributions of renowned women scientists like Marie Curie, Kadambini Ganguly, Rajeshwari Chatterjee and Kiran Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and their participation in the overall development of the country through S&T.

She encouraged the young women to learn from the exemplary courage of eminent women scientists who had overcome several hurdles to contribute to science.

The event which was inaugurated at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru on 5th January highlighted opportunities that can help women overcome the hurdles they face because of their gender in the pursuit of Science.

Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education & Director General, ICAR strongly emphasised that women need to be brought into the mainstream of national development.

He pointed out that girls should be inspired at the home, school and college levels. He mentioned about gender bias at home, which is a behavioural problem that needs to change. He asked to WSC to deliberate and delve deep on these issues and bring out recommendations.

Dr. Namita Gupta, Scientist ‘G’, Department of Science and Technology highlighted the DST schemes especially for women. “Women are applying in large numbers to utilise schemes like ‘KIRAN’ available for women and they are benefiting immensely,” she added.

KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) is the women-exclusive scheme of DST with the mandate to bring gender parity in S&T through gender mainstreaming. Different programs and components of KIRAN like Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A), Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B) deal with various crucial issues (break in career primarily due to family responsibilities, self employment, part time career, relocation and so on) faced by women scientists in their career path.

The women’s science congress, an important platform for participants to share their knowledge and learn from each other, is one of the main events in 107th Indian Science Congress, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on January 3, 2020.

Renowned women scientists are showcasing their work and delivering lectures at this two-day event with the aim to empower young women and to inculcate scientific interest and temper among them.

BN/BK/AB