Government report shows 3% drop in women’s role in leading scientific research

The data shows that 83 per cent of Co-PIs were male and 17 per cent were female.
For representational purposes (Photo | AP)
For representational purposes (Photo | AP)

NEW DELHI: The involvement of women as science leaders seems to have reported a downfall as their percentage leading research projects has decreased by 3 percent over the last year, said a recent government report.

Women Principal Investigators (PIs) participation in research that received Extramural Research (EMR) support (through peer-reviewed competitive grant mechanism) was 28 per cent during 2018-19 as compared to 31 per cent in 2017-18, according to the Directory of Extramural Research & Development (R&D) Project 2018-19 report released by the government recently.

Of the total 4,626 projects, 72 per cent of PIs were male heading around 74 per cent of the projects, while women led 26 per cent of the projects.Information on Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) is recorded specifically with an intent to highlight the wider participation of women in EMR. The data shows that 83 per cent of Co-PIs were male and 17 per cent were female.

The report also showed that extramural R&D support or R&D support through peer-reviewed competitive grant mechanisms by the central government was Rs 2,091.04 crore in 2018-19 as compared to Rs 2,036.32 crore in 2017-18. The number of projects supported has increased, as has the number of PIs. A total of 3,839 PIs undertook 4,616 projects in comparison to 3,491 PIs undertaking 4,137 projects during 2017-18.

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