New Delhi: Union Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed the Webinar on Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world, organized today on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The Webinar was conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in association with Ministry of Education. Shri Sanjay Dhotre, MoS, Education, Secretary Higher Education Shri Amit Khare, Secretary School Education and Literacy Smt. Anita Karwal, Prof. D P Singh, Chairman, UGC, Prof. Rajnish Jain, Secretary, UGC, senior officials of the Ministry were also present. 43 women Vice-Chancellors and 25 Principals of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) also joined the webinar online.
Shri Pokhriyal highlighted the importance of women leaderships during Covid 19 pandemic by stating that the best role played by anyone in pandemic is none other than the “Mothers”. He further added that women are performing exceedingly well in science, technology, research, literature and social services showcasing highest quality of leadership potential. Speaking on National Education Policy (NEP) -2020, the Minister stated that the Policy has a potential to empower the women in society. He appreciated the fact that women enrolment has increased in IITs and NITs.
Shri Sanjay Dhotre, MoS for Education stated that the celebration of the contributions made by Women and girls should not be restricted to just one day. He appreciated the role of women in maintaining health, immunity, hygiene, sanitation of their family members during covid-19. He mentioned that the ‘Gender-Inclusion Fund’ in the National Education Policy 2020 will be constituted to build the nation’s capacity to provide equitable quality education for all girls.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. D P Singh, Chairman, UGC observed that the theme of the webinar “Women in Leadership- Achieving an equal future in a covid-19 world” has been announced by UNDP and is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. He also highlighted the flagship Generation Equality campaign of UN which calls for women’s right to decision making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to all forms of violence against women and girls, and health care services that respond to their needs.
Smt Anita Karwal, Secretary emphasized that women need access to resources to be able to progress and play leadership role in different areas. Shri Amit Khare, Secretary , Higher Education highlighted that Gender Parity Index has increased during the last 4-5 years from 1% to 1.01 % at present, which is a commendable achievement also appreciated by UNESCO. He further suggested that Women Deans & Heads of Departments should be imparted training to take up future leadership roles as Vice-Chancellors.
Women of four universities, Prof Najma Akhtar, Vice-Chancellors, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Prof. Sushma Yadav, Vice-Chancellor, Bhagat Phul Singh (BPS)Women’s University , Prof. Balwinder Shukla, Vice-Chancellor Amity University, Noida and Prof. Shalini Bharat, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) also spoke on the webinar theme and shared their experiences during the covid -19 period. The programme was also viewed live by a significant number of VCs, Principals, faculty members and students.