Gender Gap In STEM Has Increasingly Been Reduced In Recent Years: Centre
Government's steps to encourage women in STEM fields include schemes like KIRAN, CURIE and BioCARe.
The gap between the proposals and outcomes of various schemes of young scientists and technologists has increasingly been reduced in recent years due to concerted efforts of the Government and stakeholders by prioritizing and making research work more focused, relevant and of translation potential, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Under the Scheme for Young Scientists and Technologists (SYST) of Department of Science and Technology (DST), 77 women and 99 male scientists were supported during 2015-2019 through grant-in aid for conducting Research and Development (R&D) or adaptive R&D for addressing societal challenges and improving quality of life, Science and Technology minister Dr Harsh Vardhan informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
The minister also the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Fellowship Scheme of DST has provided R&D support to 625 men and 301 women scientists since 2014 to pursue a career in R&D .
"A total of 1506 young women scientists and 3454 young men received R&D support through Early Career Research Award & National Postdoctoral Fellowship schemes of Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) during the last three years (2016-19)," the minister said.
Government's steps to encourage women in STEM fields include implementation of women exclusive schemes like 'Knowledge Involvement Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)', 'Consolidation of University Research through Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE)' of DST, 'Biotechnology Career Advancement and Re-orientation Programme (BioCARe)' of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), National Award for Women Scientist of Ministry of Earth Sciences, Women Excellence Award of SERB etc., the minister said.
In 2016-17, 'Mobility' component has been introduced under KIRAN to address relocation issue of working Women Scientists.
In 2017-18, DST launched a programme 'Indo-US Fellowship for Women in STEMM' (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Medicine) to provide opportunities to Indian Women Scientists, Engineers & Technologists to undertake international collaborative research in premier institutions in USA for durations of 3-6 months.
During 2019-20, a new scheme "Vigyan Jyoti" for girl students of Class 9 to 12 in order to increase the number of women in STEM education has been implemented. Under the scheme, age relaxation of 5 years is given to young women scientists for participating in SYST and other R&D schemes. These women specific programmes and other measures help in improving the participation of women in R&D in the country.
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