VARANASI: Banaras Hindu University has got another feather in its cap with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, acknowledging the university as a “GATI Achiever”. The GATI program (GENDER ADVANCEMENT FOR TRANSFORMING INSTITUTIONS) conceptualized by the Department of Science and Technology aims to accelerate participation of Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics). It was launched by the Hon’ble President of India on the occasion of National Science Day in the year 2020.

BHU has received praise for the successful implementation of the program and making notable efforts. While acknowledging the role played by Banaras Hindu University, the department has said “BHU’s exemplary work showcased its commitment to driving the next step by making action plans to ensure enhanced participation of women scientists at all levels.” The prestigious tag is the first of its kind of recognition for institutions for their remarkable work done for women in STEMM through the program. The recognition would be valid for the next five years.

The Department of Science and Technology, in partnership with the British Council, worked out a mechanism to evaluate Science and Technology institutions on the basis of Gender Equality in STEMM. The GATI Achiever recognition appreciates efforts and transformative contributions made by institutions towards women in science and technology.

The department has acknowledged the progress made by BHU’s GATI Self-Assessment Team led by Prof. Madhoolika Agrawal, nodal scientist for the program at the varsity. In its congratulatory communication to BHU, the department noted the consistent work of the team under GATI. It said that with the acknowledgement, BHU has become a role model for other institutions who are willing to participate in this initiative. Prof. Madhoolika Agrawal, while expressing happiness over the acknowledgement said, “Recognition as GATI achiever is a moment of joy and pride for BHU which implemented many policies for gender equality in recent years. Many best practices especially for women at all levels have not only boosted their morale but also helped them to achieve in their areas of work. The initiative at BHU got further momentum under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Professor Sudhir Kumar Jain, who rendered his guidance and full support for implementing many new policies towards gender equality. The progress we have achieved wouldn’t have been possible without the active and constant support of the team members and project assistant who organized various programs on gender issues and helped in collecting the current status of data related to female students, faculties, non-teaching staff and their issues which hinder their progress in strengthening the career.”

The Gati Team, BHU, also has as members Prof.  Royana Singh (IMS), Prof. L. M. Agrawal (IMS), Prof.  Neelam Srivastava (MMV), Prof. B. K. Singh (Institute of Science), Prof. Pratyoosh Shukla (School of Biotechnology), Dr Manjari Gupta (DST CIMS), Prof. V K Mishra (Incharge, South campus), Dr. Sunita Verma (IESD), Dr. Thupten T. Somu (Institute of Agricultural Sciences) and Dr Sunita Chandra, Joint Registrar.

The GATI initiative aims to nudge institutions of higher education and research towards supporting diversity, inclusion and the full spectrum of talent for their own success and progression. In particular, it aspires to create an enabling environment for equal participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) disciplines at all levels, addressing deep-rooted problems.