Women Scientists & Entrepreneurs Conclave: An inspiration for new science careers

In the inaugural session of Women Scientists’ & Entrepreneurs Conclave as a part of India International Science Festival (IISF) 2019, Professor Ashutosh Sharma in his keynote address mentioned about WEE Foundation supported by DST and stressed the importance of networking and the different modes of networking to enhance the representation of women in science and research.

Professor Sharma said that now we need absolute clarity about problem and solutions instead of just talking about the problems. He also stressed the need to think of different interventions by different stakeholders to improve the participation of women in research.

He told the audiences about the Vigyan Jyoti scheme which focuses on specific issues of technology, engineering to deal with low representation of women in top reputed institutions like IITs.  He added that the scheme focuses on how to increase female representation from current 10% to 30% in the coming 5 years.

The main objective of this conclave is to provide a platform for young women scientists to interact with the women leaders in science and technology towards risen India. This is an effort to acknowledge the contribution of women in catalyzing sustainable growth.

He mentioned the specific challenges that prevent women from reaching to top institutions are broadly cultural and financial aspects which need targeted attention and that are where the Vigyan Jyoti scheme of DST comes in as a holistic science camp it addresses the training part required to get into IITs and has many science institutions to partner in it.

He said that success of a programme hinges on every woman’s shoulders  and each one should contribute towards increasing women representation in Science Research and Innovation.He also gave the  new concept of  “Scientific Social Responsibility” where in he mentioned the need of direct interface with society and the need  to make the science camps more organized and systematic to tackle decreasing women participation.

Stressing on the need of role models he mentioned the name of Sarita Devi , a farmer from Sikar Rajasthan one of the speakers of the Conclave who is a farmer and has successfully gained about Rs 25 lakh form 1 acre of land and who is influencing other women farmers to become competent and gain from their farmlands.

Major General Dr. Madhuri Kanitkar gave a  wonderful message to the audience of “Growing together without growing apart”.She said that life is a continous learning process and women have a multitude of responsibility of managing work life balance,caring for old parents . She gave a 80:20 funda for life to the audience where 80% of time should be devoted to work life and 20% time to be devoted for oneself to be content and successful in every aspect of life.

She acknowledged her problems, failures and inspired the audience with ways on how to rectify the failures. She enlightened the audience to lead a goal based life and characterized them in 3 categories : Short term (upto 20 yrs of age)-receive knowledge, Intermediate(upto 40 yrs of age )-Consolidate the knowledge, Long term(post 40 yrs)-Return back to the society .

The two days conclave consists of six different sessions on Women Leaders and Achievers for Risen India; Women in STI: International Perspectives; Women Entrepreneurship towards Sustainable Development; Women In STEMM: Opportunities An Challenges For New India’; Grassroots Women in Catalyzing Sustainable Growth; and Youth in Driving Sustainability.