In a welcome move, the Ministry of Women and Child Development on Monday announced that eleven chairs in the names of women scientists will be established at institutes across the nation. This is being done to honour the contribution of these women in the field of science, including renowned anthropologist Iravati Karve. The announcement came just a few days short of International Women's Day, and we hope it will encourage more young girls to take up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects in school.
Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Women and Child Development took to Twitter to make the announcement. "I thank Harsh Vardhan (Minister of Science and Technology) and everyone at the Ministry of Science and Technology for their support and pro-active approach towards the cause. I also compliment them for commemorating achievements of our women scientists at this year's National Science Day celebrations," she said in a tweet.
The range of research is wide and includes the fields of maths, physics, organic chemistry, botany and anthropology, including others. Only women can take up these positions, and have the possibility of being given a research fund up to Rs 1 crore.
The 11 women scientists who are being bestowed with this honour are cytogeneticist Archana Sharma, botanist Janaki Ammal, organic scientist Darshan Ranganatham, chemist Asima Chatterjee, doctor Kadambini Ganguly, anthropologist Iravati Karve, meteorologist Anna Mani, engineer Rajeshwari Chatterjee, mathematician Raman Parimala, physicist Bibha Chowdhuri and biomedical researcher Kamal Ranadive.
At present, the only woman from India after whom a Chair has been instituted is Mother Teresa.
With a view to commemorate Indian women’s contribution to science & innovation and inspire young girls to take up STEM subjects, Government announced establishment of 11 Chairs in Institutes across India. #BetiPadhaoDeshBadhao pic.twitter.com/SOKLACeSXh— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) March 1, 2020
The ministry had made the proposal to name the chairs after women scientists last month. According to Smriti Irani, the decision has been made on the occasion of National Science Day. “We hope this will help highlight women who have been at the forefront of science and inspire young girls to follow in their paths," she told a leading daily.
A committee will identify institutes where the chairs will be set up over the course of this week. Initially, the 11 chairs will be set up for a period of five years with the possibility of extension based on research requirement.
We certainly think this is a step in the right direction--one which will encourage young girls to smash stereotypes that say 'girls aren't good at math and science'.
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