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Day 52 – Q 3.Indian women have come in the forefront of astounding scientific achievements. Do you agree? Substantiate.

3. Indian women have come in the forefront of astounding scientific achievements. Do you agree? Substantiate.  

वैज्ञानिक उपलब्धियों के क्षेत्र में भारतीय महिलाएं काफी आगे आई हैं। क्या आप सहमत हैं? पुष्टी करें।


Prior to Indian independence, the numbers had been very low, even as a fraction of those who studied science. Since then however, Indian women have come a long way in terms of science education. Today they form almost 40% of the undergraduates in science, with engineering close second. Even among the Ph.D.’s in science, about 25-30% are women. There is a fair distribution among different subjects, with life sciences and chemistry dominating. 


Recent women scientist’s achievements 

  • For the first time in India’s space mission history, the ISRO expedition was spearheaded by two women. While Muthayya Vanitha is the project director, Ritu Karidhal is the mission director of Chandrayaan-2.
  • Chandrima Shaha is an Indian biologist, currently Professor of Eminence at the National Institute of Immunology. She is the former Director of the Institute. She is President – Elect of the Indian National Science Academy.
  • Tessy Thomasis an Indian scientist and Director General of Aeronautical Systems and the former Project Director for Agni-IV missile in Defence Research and Development Organisation. She is the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India
  • Indira Hinduja – An Indian gynaecologists and infertility specialist based out of Mumbai, Indira is the first to deliver a test tube baby in India.
  • Paramjit Khurana Paramjit is a scientist in the field of Plant Biotechnology, Genomics, and Molecular Biology. She has published over 125 scientific papers
  • Nandini Harinath – A rocket scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, Nandini has worked on 14 missions in her 20 years of work. She was the deputy operations director for the Mangalyaan mission. 
  • Rohini Godbole Rohini is an Indian physicist and a professor at the Centre for High Energy Physics of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. She has worked for over three decades on Particle Phenomenology, and is particularly interested in exploring the Standard Model of Particle Physics (SM).

Although Indian women are not perceived as being incapable of doing science and engineering, their representation in these fields is small – the generic scientist is still perceived to be male. There are efforts to change this perception, but the change is slow, and there are few women scientists in positions of administrative power, namely as Institute Directors or University Vice Chancellors.

Apart from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) the percentage of women faculty is woefully low, particularly when one considers positions of Associate Professors and above. Percentage of women on the faculty of the high profile institutes like TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), the IITs, or IISc is about 10-12%.


It is unfortunate that gender bias occurs even in a field like science, which is supposed to be objective and free of prejudices. Fortunately, winds of change are blowing – slowly but surely.

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