Hyderabad: Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad is encouraging girl students to take up a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM.) It is hosting a ‘Vigyan Jyothi,’ a two-week Residential Training Programme designed to give an exposure for girl students to the various careers in STEM.
Funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt of India, this program 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 program, being held at IIT Hyderabad campus from 12th May, 2018 to 29th May 2018.
Speaking about the importance of this initiative, Prof UB. Desai, Director, IIT Hyderabad, said, “Vigyan Jyoti is great initiative to motivate girl students to pursue a career engineering and technology. Their participation in technology development is a must. This workshop by the Teaching and Learning Center at IITH and the faculty of IITH will help in achieving gender parity in engineering and technology profession.”
The students would be taken to various laboratories such as 3D printing, robotics, tinkerer’s, materials science, physics, chemistry and others. The students would also be taken on a heritage tour to Qutab Shahi, Golconda and museums besides to the Birla Planetarium and the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD).
Among those who interacted with these students include Ms. Deepthi Ravula, Chief Executive Officer of WE- Hub, an incubation centre exclusively for women launched by the Government of Telangana. She said, “Vigyan Jyothi Scholars program is addressing a key issue that is true of India and across the world, that despite the high priority that is placed on STEM in schools, efforts to expand female interest and employment in STEM and computer science are not working as well as intended. This is especially true in technology and engineering.”
Further, she added, “With the Government of Telangana’s keen interest in Women empowerment through inclusion of young girls and women in the startup eco system, WE HUB was created. One of the Key mandates for WE HUB is to enable, encourage and support the many exceptional young girls with the enthusiasm and passion for STEM fields to continue in those fields and become the part of the exceptional growth story of Telangana and India.”
Vigyan Jyothi knowledge centre intends to look into coaching, mentorship interaction with role models to stimulate equity and equality in participation of girls in Higher Education and careers in STEM. Taken up this year as a pilot project, it also includes lectures, seminar, lab visit, hands on sessions, do and discover, business quiz, students outing, personality development, yoga, newspaper reading and so on.
Speaking about the program, Ms. Himani Agrawal, Program manager, Amazon India, said, “It’s good to know that institutes like IIT are acknowledging the challenges women face and are taking steps to soothe their endeavours towards rewarding career options in STEM. Vigyan Jyoti knowledge Centre residential program organised by IIT Hyderabad is a promising initiative, designed to provide motivation, vision and guidance to girls early on, so they can pursue their dreams and contribute to the growth of our society. I am happy to be associated with this program and do my bit in this direction.”
Ms. Juhee Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, IIT Hyderabad Incubators, said, “Careers in STEM for girls is the critical focus and aspiration of this program. The workshops cover a range of areas to encourage the young women to consider taking up careers in technology, maths or science. Through the program, we are offering speakers from industry, academia, policy think tanks and startups who will be role models who can share their real-life experiences to inspire the students to be part of a high- tech work force in the future.”
Speaking about the importance of this initiative, Dr. Mudrika Khandelwal, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, and Program 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.”