Hyderabad: International Women’s Day was celebrated at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) in Hyderabad, an autonomous R&D Centre of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), while highlighting the trend of the overall increase in extramural research funding for women scientists from 13% in the year 2000-01 to 29% in the year 2014-15.
Dr G. Padmanabham, Director, ARCI, cheered the healthy trend in the increase in extramural research funding to women scientists and stated that many efforts were underway, such as being part of Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) initiated in the UK for learning from the best practices in this direction. He also assured all possible support at ARCI in increasing the equity of Women Scientists in their endeavours and success.
The IWD programme was organised by the Internal Complaints Committee of ARCI. Padmanabham in his address focused on the importance of gender diversity, which enhances the innovation and overall output in any organizational environment. He said that the goal is to have equal opportunity and responsibility for both women and men, and several initiatives to that effect at different levels are being taken by the government and other relevant agencies world over.
“This goal of equality can be achieved by involving more and more women in various walks of life. This has also increased in the recent past with women taking the lead in sectors like services, science and technology, business and so on,” he said. He mentioned initiatives of the DST like Women Scientists Scheme (WOS), Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN), and more. KIRAN is addressing various issues related to women scientists like unemployment, relocation, and others.
Prof. Gita Sharma, Director of R&D at Tapadia Diagnostics, Hyderabad, a distinguished scientist and biotechnologist with expertise in virology, gene cloning, and molecular biology, was the Chief Guest for the occasion. She served as a Professor in the Department of Microbiology in Osmania University for 29 years as well as a founder scientist in Shantha Biotech, Hyderabad, a well-known company in the field of biotechnology. She developed 16 products based on genetically engineered proteins to be used as a medicine or vaccine, of which six have been commercialized.
Sharma delivered a motivational talk titled ‘Women Technopreneurs and Enabling Policies.’ She narrated her story of becoming an entrepreneur from a scientist and a teacher. She also emphasised the qualities required by a scientist to build a career as a technopreneur and encouraged young researchers to do translational research, which contributes to the nation’s economics. Her journey from scientist and professor to an entrepreneur profoundly inspired the researchers and staff at ARCI.
This information was provided by the Communications Team at the Dept. of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology.
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