Women scientists excelling in science & technology in country: NASI records

Count of women scientists getting National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) fellowship reaches over 12% from mere 8.19% in 2015
The NASI now has 1,856 fellows from all parts of the country. Of these, 250 are women scientists and researchers amounting to over 12%. (File photo)
The NASI now has 1,856 fellows from all parts of the country. Of these, 250 are women scientists and researchers amounting to over 12%. (File photo)
Published on May 19, 2022 09:47 PM IST
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By, Prayagraj

Efforts by one of the top scientific institutions of the country—National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) — to increase participation of women in the field of science and technology have started to pay off now.

The number of eminent women scientists, who have received fellowship from NASI, has exceeded 12%, informed officials of Prayagraj-headquartered NASI.

“In 2015, out of a total of 1,626 NASI fellows, the number of women scientists was only 137 (8.19%). The academy while starting with just 19 fellows now has 1,856 fellows from all parts of the country. It includes 17 honorary fellows and 106 foreign fellows from various disciplines of Science and Technology. Of these, around 250 are women scientists and researchers amounting to over 12%— each selected on the basis of pure merit of their scientific works and achievements,” said Neeraj Kumar, executive secretary, NASI, Prayagraj.

He said the institution gives fellowship to just around 50 scientists every year who are selected by top scientists of the country.

Kumar further said “We have been working for more than a decade with the aim of motivating women to pursue a career in the field of science and technology and now this has started fetching positive results. The arrival of women in bigger numbers will not just get us more bright minds to work and research in the field of science and technology but also break new frontiers as women make great team leaders.”

India has three national science academies-- Indian National Science Academy, the National Academy of Sciences India and the Indian Academy of Sciences as the Delhi, Prayagraj and Bangalore academies respectively are known. The Prayagraj academy, founded in 1930, is the oldest of all Indian science academies.

NASI was founded with the objectives to provide a national forum for the publication of research work carried out by Indian scientists and to provide opportunities for exchange of views among them. Eminent scientist, patriot and professor of Physics at Allahabad University Prof Meghnad Saha was the first to moot this idea in 1929 and was elected the first president of NASI when it came in to being the next year.

Kumar further said in order to increase participation of women in the field, the three science academies together prepared a vision document in 2016.

“Its effect was that gradually the number of women scientists started increasing in science academies. Out of 50 fellowships awarded every year by NASI, nine women were selected in 2019, seven in 2020 and 12 in 2021. Besides, records show that out of the 20-25 “NASI Platinum Jubilee Young Scientist Awards” given by NASI every year four to five are bagged by women,” he said.

NASI has organized many events in 17 states over the past decade with an aim to increase the participation of women in science and technology and to motivate them to pursue a career in science.

PHOTO: Prayagraj-based NASI headquarters (HT File Photo)

K Sandeep Kumar

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    K Sandeep Kumar is a Special Correspondent of Hindustan Times heading the Allahabad Bureau. He has spent over 16 years reporting extensively in Uttar Pradesh, especially Allahabad and Lucknow. He covers politics, science and technology, higher education, medical and health and defence matters. He also writes on development issues.

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