Smriti Irani stresses need to mentor girls in science, technology

NetIndian News Network

Mysuru, January 4, 2016

Union Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani today stressed the need for “mentoring girls to be a part of India's scientific journey” as the country lacked a notable presence of women in the field of science and technology.
Inaugurating the 5th Women’s Science Congress at the 103rd Indian Science Congress at University of Mysore here, Ms Irani said the most fundamental challenge at present was to overcome prejudices against women.
 “Science does not seem to be teaching us to overcome these prejudices even while it enriches our knowledge,” she added.
Referring to women’s contributions in all spheres of life, the Minister said, “We easily recall names of the scientists who are men and hardly do we remember any women’s contribution in the field of science and technology. This calls for addressing the challenges at the school level.”
"It is very sad that women are often at crossroads where they have to either choose family or higher education," she said.
The Minister also referred to paucity of women teaching staff in the academia. 
“Mentoring girls to be a part of India’s scientific journey will effectively address this challenge”, she said and urged the Women’s Science Congress to ponder upon these issues and come up with suggestions.
In this context, she said “ordinary saree clad Indian women were the face behind our successful Mars Mission.” 
Speaking on the occasion, ISCA President Ashok Kumar Saxena referred to the contributions of women in all walks of life but noted that very few occupy high positions and called for women's parity in all spheres.
Among others present were Dr. Vijaya Laxmi Saxena, Executive Member, ISCA, Prof. Geetha Bali, Former President, ISCA, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Secretary DHR, DG – ICMR, New Delhi, Ms Shobana Bhaskaran, Scientist SEED, Prof. Asna Urooj, Convener, Women Science Congress and Prof. Shobha Jagannath, Co – Convener of Women Science Congress.