Knowledge Involvement Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN) Programme is being implemented by the Department of Science & Technology to provide various career opportunities to women scientists. It is primarily aimed at gender parity in Science & Technology sector by inducting more women talent in the research & development domain through various programmes, namely, Fellowship Schemes for break-in career women scientists [i.e. Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A), Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B) and Women Scientist Scheme-C (WOS-C)], Institutional support through Consolidation of University Research through Innovation and Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE) scheme and Women Technology Parks (WTPs). In 2016-17, a new programme “Mobility Scheme” has been launched under KIRAN to address relocation issue of working Women Scientists. Further, they are also encouraged to avail of capacity building schemes related to basic research, societal development and self-employment. Department of Science & Technology has also constituted “Standing Committee for Promoting Women in Science” in May, 2016.
As per the latest Official Statistics available (2011-12), out of 1.93 lakh persons in Research & Development, only 27532 women scientists are directly engaged in R&D activities at various research institutions, which constitute 14.3% of the total. The State/Union Territory wise data is not being maintained by the Department.
Women are not lagging behind in this field. They could be statistically less in number, which could possibly be on account of rigorous academic and research in the crucial stage of life, familial issues like marriage, family responsibility, relocation due to transferable job of spouse etc. These sometimes leads to dropout from higher studies, career break, overage for scientific jobs and prolonged absence from place of work or even resignation from the job. The Draft National Policy for Women 2016 has taken cognizance of these issues.
This was stated by Minister of State for Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S.Chowdary, in a written reply to a Question in Lok Sabha today.