Policy-makers discuss ways to address gender gap in new Science Tech and Innovation Policy

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New Delhi, September 22

Low percentage of Indian women in science and gender gap, especially in terms of women leaders in the subject, and ways to address them in the new Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), 2020, were discussed at a webinar on Tuesday, the Department of Science and Technology said.

Vijay Bhatkar, the president of Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), who presided over the discussion, emphasised that sustainability and self-reliance is possible only when women are given their due importance.

Several issues in terms of the low institutional mechanism to nurture women innovators, age-barrier issues, leaky pipeline, funding for women-led start-ups, leadership, gender bias and the need for women entrepreneurs, inclusive and diverse science technology and innovation ecosystem while addressing stereotypes with regard to family and parenting were deliberated upon.

At the discussion, Akhilesh Gupta, the head of STIP, 2020, presented some major interventions suggested during the track-two expert consultations, like mandatory positions in academics, 30 per cent representation of women, leadership role to senior women scientists in research and administration.

Gupta highlighted some important recent government initiatives, including the DST’s ‘KIRAN’ (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) scheme particularly the CURIE (Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities) programme, the Department of Biotechnology’s BioCARe programme and others.

He also stressed on the need to address issues related to career breaks for women, and suggested dual recruitment policy, flexibility in work timings, day care centres, setting up of an ‘Office of Equity and Inclusion’. PTI 

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