First National Conference of Women Scientists and Technologists was organized by
DBT on 8-9 March, 2002, in association with the Dept. of Women and Child
Development and other Scientific Ministries/agencies, departments of Government
of India. The Conference was
inaugurated by Hon’ble MoS (S&T) Shri. Bachi Singh Rawat; Hon’ble MoS (WCD)
Smt. Sumitra Mahajan presided over the function. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan and Dr. R. Chidambaram graced the
occasion. A publication entitled
“Biotechnology for Women Empowerment” and the Book of Abstracts for the
Conference were released on the occasion. The
two day conference was attended by more than 400 delegates from different
research institutes/ universities, state councils, public sectors and industries
across the country. The main
conference themes were:
Ø Achievements of women scientists and technologists
Ø Career options for women in science and engineering
Ø Business opportunities for women scientists and engineers
Ø Reaching the Unreached
§ Agriculture, Biology, Biotechnology and Medicine
§ Nuclear Sciences, Space, Engineering, Physical and Earth Science
interactive open house discussion was held in which the delegates participated
actively. The discussions were
organized in three main categories.
Women in S&T
S&T for women.
messages from the Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Minister S&T, HRD
Ocean Development were read out in the inaugural session.
main recommendations under each of the above categories are as follows :
Jobs, Scholarships and Training:
a. Present training programme to continue for career options.
b. Reaching the unreached programme – For higher studies at college and university level, statewise scholarships, for rural girl students
c. Five years contractual service (at any level) with bona fide faculty/scientist status so that the entrant can write grants and conduct independent research along with hiring students and obtaining lab space from the host and participating in the host institute program. This should be taken through a proper selection procedure. There may be a provision to renew the contract after 5 years.
d. Increase the number of scholarships –present number is disproportionate to the number of candidates.
e. There should be age relaxation, part time job options, flexi-timing and options for re-entry.
Entrepreneurship promotion for women scientists:
a. To grant R&D status to small scale entrepreneurs so that they are not burdened by loans alone and can apply for peer reviewed grants from the ministry.
b. Creation of an infrastructure for market research/survey, which can link market options to the women entrepreneurs.
c. To establish nodal agencies in different geographical locations, for industry promoting bodies such as BCIL, so that their training and placement programs can be used countrywide.
d. Database of unemployed but skilled women scientists who are looking for jobs.
e. Database for accumulating the problems of the rural/unreached through NGOs etc, so that solutions can be worked out at the lab levels.
f. Women scientists at premier laboratories/ retired personnel should come forward for networking of resources, information for promotion of younger women scientists, societal welfare and guidance programme for students.
a. Value addition of local specific knowledge and recognition of the innovations and developments that take place at grass root level.
b. Convergence between the departments/ agencies and pooling the resources of Govt. / NGOs and others.
c. Access to appropriate technologies and participation in technology development and dissemination through rural technology centres/ entreprenual promotions parks/ women development centres.
d. Incentives for societal programmes with proper recognition and reward systems.
e. Easy access to credit and marketing facilities.
Setting up of an Inter Agency Action Council for Reaching the Unreached for Women –
this can be with the participation of all concerned ministries and departments
of the Centre.
More Institutional Networking of Women in S&T at State, Centre and
Setting up of Women Empowerment Network Centres specially in States
Awareness regarding S&T for women through training, counseling
programmes for teachers and trainers to ensure wider dissemination of
information to be done by state S&T councils.
An earmarked scheme on S&T for women may be included under the budget
head of State S&T Councils.