NEW DELHI: The ministry of science and technology has started a pilot accreditation model for premier institutions for promoting gender equity in science and technology.
The move comes as the ministry has observed a big gender divide in the country’s top scientific and educational institutions in terms of faculty, PhD students and fellows in country’s science academies.
The IISc-Bengaluru is the most male-dominated with only 8.6% female faculties while the average number of women faculty in IITs is 11.24%, according to a recent study published in the scientific journal Current Science.
Among the Ph.Ds in science, about 25-30% are women while in science academies, the percentage of women in the fellowship for the Indian National Science Academy is 5.6% and in the Indian Academy of Sciences, it is 7%.
Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) by the ministry aims to nudge higher education and research institutes towards supporting diversity.
Universities, research institutions of Department of Science and Technology, CSIR, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council for Medical Research and Indian Council for Agriculture Research, Institutes of National importance, and other autonomous S&T Institutions have been invited to participate.
The pilot institutions, initially 25, would commit to adopting gender parity principles within their policies, practices, action plans and institutional culture.
They would be required to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) action plan for systemic and cultural transformation to ensure parity.
“GATI pilots a sustainable self-assessment and accreditation model that explicitly acknowledges gender inequality and articulates a commitment towards overcoming systemic and cultural barriers to women’s academic and professional advancement at all levels,” said a ministry official.
The programme aspires to create an enabling environment for equal participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) disciplines at all levels.
Participating organisations will be provided with training and support at every stage as they undertake to complete the application, prepare for review process and work towards institutional recognition.