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Conquering new frontiers

Ladies who got India into the missile clubs and helmed space missions

education Updated: Mar 07, 2012 13:24 IST
HT Education Correspondent

Shashi Bala Singh is the only woman director in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to head a laboratory that is doing crucial research in acclimatising over 80,000 jawans posted in cold and arid regions of the western sector. She is the director of Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences, one of DRDO’s 52 laboratories, which is now in the process of reducing the six-day acclimatisation period for jawans in cold climates to three days.

She has also been the director of the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research, Leh, when she substantially contributed to improvement in the quality of life of the soldiers deployed at high altitudes.

Tessy Thomas has a role to play in placing India in an elite club of nations like the US, Russia and China with the capability to produce their own long-range Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). Being the first-ever woman director of an Indian missile project, all eyes will be on her when India tests its 5000-km range nuclear capable Agni-V missile soon. The 45-year-old scientist from DRDO has worked on Agni-series missiles, contributing to the guidance designs and other aspects. At the helm of the Agni-V project, she supervises a work force that comprises five other women scientists.

Anna Mani, a distinguished meteorologist also worked with CV Raman. Mani contributed to the study of radiation, ozone and atmospheric electricity, both on the surface and in the upper air using special sounding techniques. In a career spanning almost 30 years, she published a number of papers on topics ranging from atmospheric ozone to the need for international instrument comparisons and national standardisation of meteorological instrumentation. She retired as deputy director general of the Indian Meteorological Department in 1976.

TK Anuradha became the first woman scientist to head a space mission when GSAT-12 was launched on July 15, 2011. Anuradha specialises in electronic checking of satellite’s performance in space. As project director for the communication satellite of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Anuradha successfully manoeuvred GSAT- 12 into its final orbit.