The Women Scientists’ & Entrepreneurs Conclave, which was inaugurated as a part of India International Science Festival (IISF) 2019 in Kolkata today,highlighted the importance of networking to enhance the representation of women in science and research.
Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, Professor Ashutosh Sharma in his keynote address mentioned different modes of networking and how women in the science and science based entrepreneurship space can benefit from them.
Referring to entrepreneurship efforts supported by organizations like WEE (Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment) Foundation supported by DST, Professor Sharma said that one needs absolute clarity about problems and solutions instead of just talking about the problems. Stressing on the need of interventions by different stakeholders to improve the participation of women in research he highlighted DST’s schemes like Vigyan Jyoti which targets to increase representation of women in top reputed institutions like IITs. The Vigyan Jyoti scheme brings holistic science camp which imparts training to get into IITs and has many science institutions to partner in it.
Secretary, Department of Scientific& Industrial Research and Director General CSIR, Dr Shekhar C. Mande also inspired the audience with his address.
The main objective of this conclave is to provide a platform for young women scientists to interact with the women leaders in science and technology towards risen India. This is an effort to acknowledge the contribution of women in catalyzing sustainable growth.
In the different sessions eminent women scientists, leaders and experts mentioned that specific cultural and financial challenges that prevent women from reaching top institutions needed targeted attention.
It was pointed out that increasing representation of women in science technology and innovation hinges on every woman’s shoulders and each one should contribute towards it.
Delegates at the conclave were inspired by the presence of role models like Sarita Devi , a farmer from Sikar Rajasthan, who has successfully gained about Rs 25 lakh from 1 acre of land and who is influencing other women farmers to become competent and gain from their farmlands.
Meanwhile, Major General Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar encouraged the audience with her call for ‘Growing together without growing apart’. She said that life is a continuous learning process and women have a multitude of responsibilities of managing work life balance and caring for elderly parents.
Acknowleging her problems and failures she motivated women on ways to overcome them.
The two days conclave consists of six different sessions on different aspects of increasing participation of women in science technology and innovation like women leaders and achievers for Risen India; Women in STI: International Perspectives; Women Entrepreneurship towards Sustainable Development; Women In STEMM: Opportunities and Challenges For New India’; Grassroots Women in Catalyzing Sustainable Growth; and Youth in Driving Sustainability.