The promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment is of utmost importance in the fields of Science, technology, and engineering. Throughout history, women have been significantly underrepresented in these disciplines due to societal stereotypes and bias. It is crucial to encourage and support women’s participation in these fields to foster scientific advancement and innovation. By empowering women and promoting gender equality, we can establish a more inclusive, diverse, and robust scientific ecosystem.
To address these challenges, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has implemented a specialized initiative called ‘Women in Science and Engineering-KIRAN (WISE-KIRAN)’. This scheme aims to cater to women from all walks of life and enhance their participation in the field of Science and Technology (S&T), ultimately striving for gender parity. The WISE-KIRAN Scheme takes a comprehensive approach to tackle the various obstacles faced by women throughout their scientific journey by offering a wide range of programs.
The WISE-KIRAN Division offers a variety of programs designed to empower women of different age groups and in various domains of Science and Technology.
The Department of Science and Technology has implemented a comprehensive scheme called ‘Women in Science and Engineering-KIRAN (WISE-KIRAN)’ to provide a range of opportunities for women in the Science & Technology field. This scheme includes programs such as the Women Scientists Scheme, which supports women scientists who have taken a career break; the WISE Fellowship for Ph.D., which enables women to pursue doctoral research in basic and applied sciences; the WISE-Post Doctoral Fellowship for post-doctoral research; WISE-SCOPE, which focuses on addressing societal challenges through science and technology interventions; and WIDUSHI, which supports senior women scientists in continuing their scientific careers. Additionally, there is a program called ‘WISE Internship in IPR (WISE-IPR)’ that offers training in Intellectual Property Rights.
A unique initiative called ‘Vigyan Jyoti’ was introduced in 2020 to encourage talented girls to pursue careers in underrepresented areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Currently, there are 21,600 female students enrolled in this program from 250 districts across the country. The program offers various activities throughout the year including parent-student counseling, career counseling, special academic classes, tinkering activities, role model interactions, lab/industry visits, and science camps.
Under the Vigyan Jyoti Program, Class XII girls are eligible for a one-year scholarship. Since its inception in 2020, a total of Rs. 5841.08 lakh has been distributed as scholarships to female students. The scholarships distributed each year are as follows:
- 2020-21: Rs. 600.00 lakh
- 2021-22: Rs. 971.52 lakh
- 2022-23: Rs. 2178.96 lakh
- 2023-24: Rs. 2090.60 lakh
In total, the scholarships amount to Rs. 5841.08 lakh.
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