New Delhi: On International Women’s Day (8 March), a helpline number was launched for women students, researchers, entrepreneurs and scientists. At present, the helpline will provide handholding to women scientists in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and will be available during office hours (09:30 am to 05:30 pm) during working days.
The Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Science and Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan said, “It is important that women in science explore the opportunities and take benefits of the schemes available for them. All the students and researchers can get information about the schemes on one dedicated number. This will also help them to pursue their career and if they have issues regarding fellowships, they can get guidance from here.”
Vardhan also said that as a society we must move from tokenism to totalism, especially when it comes to creating a gender parity culture in Indian science. “The recent special focus on women empowerment by the government has resulted in various special schemes to attract women in science and to provide employment opportunities as well,” he added.
On National Science Day, President Ram Nath Kovind announced three key initiatives for gender advancement and equality in academic and research. The theme of this year’s National Science Day was ‘Women in Science’.
These three initiatives are Vigyan Jyoti, Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) and an online portal for science and technology resources for women. Vigyan Jyoti is an initiative that will create a level-playing field for meritorious girls in high school to pursue STEM subjects in their higher education. The second initiative GATI will develop a comprehensive charter and a framework for assessing gender inequality in STEM.
The online portal will provide e-resources related to all women-specific government schemes, scholarships, fellowships, career counselling with details of subject area experts from various disciplines in science and technology.
The helpline no – (011) 2656 5285 will help them to get their queries answered and doubts cleared related to programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Jyoti Singh is a contributor at India Science Wire.