Dr. Harsh Vardhan launches women helpline for S&T schemes

As part of the International Women’s Day celebrations organised by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Science and Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched a new Helpline no 011-26565285 here for the use of women students, researchers, entrepreneurs and scientists to get their queries answered and doubts cleared related to programs of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).

At present, this Helpline will provide handholding to women scientists and will be available during office hours (09:30 am to 05:30 pm) during working days. 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan gave details of the helpline about how the women’s schemes of the MoST can help women to continue their careers in Science and Technology and also about the qualifications or other requirements for the schemes. 

At another function in New Delhi, DST with its autonomous organization Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), celebrated International Women’s Day at TIFAC, where Justice Pratibha M Singh lauded the Women Scientist Scheme C (KIRAN IPR) which is creating an impact on IPR ecosystem in India. She emphasized the need to enhance women’s role in practising science and the need to increase employment related to science technology and engineering. 

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DST, in his address at TIFAC, spoke about the newly launched Vigyan Jyoti scheme to encourage the women to pursue science. He said that a drive to identify potential candidates at the district level would take place.  “Selected women from more than 500 districts would be given opportunities to attend science camps at IITs, NITs, and other leading institutions of science and technology education where women are not adequately represented,” he said. He also emphasised the role of IP in the innovation ecosystem and congratulated the women scientists who have completed one-year training on IPR under the KIRAN programme.

The 10th batch of Women Scientist Scheme WOS-C, popularly known as KIRAN IPR, received Certificates for successfully completing the one-year hands-on training on IPR. A total of 96 trainees completed training in this batch.

Two leading young scientists spoke on occasion. Ms. Shweta Kulkarni, AstroPreneur from Pune, spoke about her journey to entrepreneurship in science specialising in Astronomy. She shared her journey of becoming an AstroPreneur and how astronomy gives a new perspective towards life.

She emphasized that the astronomy culture must be started now in India. Another prize-winning Women Scientist Dr. Shweta Rawat of Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), a lab of DRDO motivated women scientists by sharing her story of practicing science in a government lab. She also talked about her journey of the development of the protective gear for armed forces, bulletproof suit.

A panel discussion also took place on various schemes of Government, especially for Women Scientists. Participants showed lots of interest and asked many questions to the panelists. The panel was led by Dr. Anita Gupta, Scientist G and Associate Head, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ms. Anju Bhalla, Joint Secretary, and Ms. Namita Gupta, Scientist G of DST.

Another panel discussion deliberated on how the DST scheme KIRAN IPR plays a role in enabling women scientists to come back to science and establish themselves as an IP entrepreneur. The programme was attended by Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Dr. Renu Swarup, and more than 100 delegates.

The movie “Hidden Figure” was screened during the celebration. The book LADY YOU’RE THE BOSS! By Apurva, Purohit was presented to the participants.