Gender parity is a global concern and world-wide countries are acknowledging the drawbacks of gender imbalance in sustainable development. One of the pillars for achieving self-reliance is accelerating gender equality by including more women in science, technology and innovation (STI). To discuss the status, the challenges and the way forward, a specific event has been designed in the India International Science Festival 2020 ‘Women Scientists and Entrepreneurs’ Conclave. The inaugural session of this conclave was addressed by the Governor of Telangana, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan and the Union Minister of Women and Child Development and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani.
Addressing the inaugural conclave, the Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan said that in achieving the goals of Atmanirbhar Bharat (the self-reliant India), the role of women is very important.
She pointed out that in our country, the presence of women workforce is meagre in science and entrepreneurship.
She said that women have the capability to transform the employment scenario in the country. Women-owned enterprises have the potential to create 150-170 million new jobs.
Increasing seats for women in engineering and technical institutions
She emphasized the need of increasing seats for women in engineering and technical institutions and more number of fellowships to encourage women scientists and technologists. The Governor and other dignitaries joined this conclave virtually.
The Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, in her address, said that the number of women scientists in India is very low and it needs to be increased and various government schemes have been initiated to motivate women to enter the field of scientific research. She added that programmes like IISF motivate and attracts women towards science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.