IIT Madras Selected For Dept Of Science And Technology Initiative To Advance Women In STEM

Institute among the 30 selected nationwide for a Pilot Project to implement a methodology for evaluation and assessment of institutional gender climate with a uniquely Indian look

A Researcher at a laboratory in IIT Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Indian Institute of Technology Madras is among the Institutions selected nationwide by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, to advance Women in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics). 

Called GATI or ‘Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions initiative,’ it seeks to develop and implement policies and address issues in a systematic and timely manner.

IIT Madras is keen to contribute to DST’s vision to develop the country’s first National Assessment and Accreditation Model for S&T institutions, which is based on gender-sensitive practices. 

The Institute is proud to be selected as one of the 30 pilot institutions that will implement this quantitative methodology, in order to surface the specific gender-based issues. 

The DST partnered with British Educational Institutions to develop GATI, which aims to bring about tangible and positive changes in terms of the improvement of gender ratios. A Gender Equity Charter has also been developed for an India-specific context. Dr Pratibha Jolly, former Principal, Miranda House, Delhi, and her team have developed a methodology for evaluation and assessment of the institutional gender climate, with a uniquely Indian look. 

Highlighting the impact GATI will have in encouraging women to take up a career in STEM, Prof. Preeti Aghalayam, Nodal Officer, GATI Self-Assessment Team (GSAT), IIT Madras, said,“DST’s initiative comes at absolutely the right time for us. I look forward to working with the team on improving the research and gender climate of IIT Madras.”

A  GATI Self-Assessment Team (GSAT) has been established at IIT Madras with several representatives from each group of stakeholders at the institute. The institute leadership and administration are committed to the Gender Equity Charter put together by the GATI team, and the GSAT is actively working on the framework developed by Dr. Jolly.

The GSAT working committee at IIT Madras is headed by Nodal Officer Prof. Preeti Aghalayam, Faculty, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras and supported by Prof. Anindita Sahoo, Prof. Himanshu Sinha,  Richu George Philip and Vijay Shankar. 

The plans for the immediate future include:

  • Seminar series – storytelling from women leaders from various spheres
  • Upskilling activities – career advancement and networking workshops for staff
  • Support for women research scholars – to enhance mobility and opportunities
  • Community outreach activities – to spread the love of STEM in young women 
  • Collaborations – programs for women faculty for international mobility

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