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HyderabadWomen better suited to pursue science: IMD Hyderabad Director

Women better suited to pursue science: IMD Hyderabad Director

Published: 11th Oct 2021 12:57 am

Hyderabad: Having overcome every challenge thrown her way, Dr K Nagaratna, the first Director of India Meteorological Department, Hyderabad, is an advocate for female empowerment. Opining that the scientific field needs more women, the eminent scientist argues that women are better suited to do science.

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Any stream of science requires patience. “You have to observe your subjects for weeks, sometimes even months. Then record the findings meticulously and file the final results. All these activities need someone focused and dedicated,” she points out.

Back in the days, science was a male-dominated field. However, now things are different. Dr Nagaratna says, “So many young girls are aiming to become scientists, and unlike the olden times, parents are very supportive of their choices. I really hope that in the coming years we will see equal numbers of male and female scientists in the workforce.”

Born in Hyderabad, Dr Nagaratna’s family moved to Visakhapatnam where she completed her schooling. Excelling in studies since a young age, she always wanted to pursue a career in technology.

Crediting her parents for being supportive of her education, Dr Nagaratna says, she appeared for engineering competitive examinations but couldn’t get a seat that year. “So I started pursuing B Sc I was introduced to meteorology only during my M Sc, and I was instantly fascinated by the subject. I realised how meteorology plays a huge role in our day-to-day lives and also in the economy,” she recalls.

Since India and its neighbouring countries rely heavily on monsoon, through this stream of science one can determine the percentage of rain each year and plan actions accordingly. “During the last year of my masters, I took part in a project on Southwest Monsoon held at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune. The subject was so interesting that I decided to pursue a career in meteorology.” After finishing her masters, Dr Nagaratna finished her PhD from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

During her initial posting at New Delhi, the IMD-H Director learnt about the operational side of meteorology. “After I was transferred to Hyderabad, I worked with various teams. In fact, I was the first female employee to handle the meteorological services IMD provides for civil aviation.”
For Dr Nagaratna, learning is a continuous process. “Although my job is much more administrative now, I am still a part of the Instrument division. I believe constant learning is the only way we can grow – personally and professionally.”

However, the success didn’t come easy. “Being a female in a male-dominating field is not easy. You have to constantly prove that you are good at your job, otherwise people might not take you seriously. However, if you are passionate about your job, nothing can stop you,” adds Dr Nagaratna.

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