Sangareddy: Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) is encouraging girl students to take up a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). With an aim to achieve gender equality in these fields, IIT-H is hosting a two-week ‘Vigyan Jyothi’, a residential training programme designed to provide exposure to girl students to various careers in STEM.
Funded by Department of Science and Technology, this programme will also deal with mental and physical fitness, emotional resilience, personal health and hygiene and most importantly, exposure. Around 35 meritorious girl students of Class XI are taking part in this programme, being held at IIT- H campus from May 12 to 29.
Speaking about the importance of this initiative, Prof UB Desai, Director, IIT-H, said, “Vigyan Jyothi is a great initiative to motivate girl students to pursue a career in engineering and technology. Their participation in technology development is a must. This workshop by the Teaching and Learning Centre at IIT-H and faculty of IIT-H will help in achieving gender parity in engineering and technology professions.”
The students would be taken to various laboratories such as 3D printing, robotics, material science, physics, chemistry and others. The students would also be taken on a heritage tour to Qutb Shahi tombs, Golconda Fort, museums and National Institute of Rural Development.
Among those who interacted with these students include Deepthi Ravula, CEO of WE- Hub, an incubation centre exclusively for women launched by Government of Telangana. Deepthi said that not only Indian even the rest of the world could not achieve gender parity in providing employment to women in science and technology-based professions. However, she hoped that the Vigyan Jyothi programme would lessen the gap.
“With the State government’s keen interest in women empowerment through inclusion of women in startup eco system, WE-Hub was created,” she said.
Himani Agrawal, programme manager, Amazon India, said, “It’s good to know that institutes like IIT were acknowledging the challenges women face. Vigyan Jyothi programme is a promising initiative. I am happy to be associated with this programme and do my bit in this direction.”
Juhee Ahmed, CEO, IIT Hyderabad Incubators, said, “The workshops cover a range of areas to encourage the young women to consider taking up careers in technology, mathematics or science. Through the programme, we are offering speakers from industry, academia, policy think tanks and startups who will be role models as they will share their experiences to inspire the students.”
Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, Assistant Professor, Department of Material Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT-H, and programme coordinator, said, “Women often tend to find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between personal and professional life.
This workshop is an effort to prove that it is not a problem of choosing, but optimising. And this can happen only when we see role models, when we are aware of options and paths. Above all, this workshop targets an overall development.”