Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and The Department of Science and Technology (DST) have collaborated to bring gender parity in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) through Vigyan Jyoti Scheme. The launch event of the scheme happened on 13th February 2020. The Chief Guest of the event was Sonam Wangchuk, Founder, SEMCOL and the Guest of Honour was Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee.
The Chief Guest of the launch event, Sonam Wangchuk, Founder, SEMCOL, said, “I am really happy to be a part of this launch event. In today’s day and age where women are breaking barriers in every other field, it is important for us as scholars to promote more female participation in STEM courses. I applaud IIT Roorkee for becoming the Knowledge Partner on this noble scheme”.
The Guest of Honour of the launch event, Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee said, “We are delighted to work with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to improve gender parity in STEM”.
The coordinator from IIT Roorkee for Vigyan Jyoti program and faculty advisor for NSS and NCC, Prof. Pranita P. Sarangi also added, “With real-life stories, motivational lectures and interactive sessions, we have been successful in bringing interest in science and technology and for setting higher goals among girl students from JNV and Kendriya Vidyalaya”. She also appreciated the efforts and enthusiasm of SC Joshi, Principal of JNV, Haridwar, and other teachers of the school in implementing this program to help the XIth class girls.
In this formal inaugural program, the girls from JNV and KV also interacted with many lady faculties, students from various branches and degree programs at IIT Roorkee and received information on higher education and carrier prospects in STEM.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has several women-centric programs under KIRAN Division which provides various opportunities to women scientists and technologies. Most of the initiatives are related with research & development. To attract women into STEM field the DST is now starting Vigyan Jyoti – School Component which will be value-added in STEM education at the school level.
The main objectives of IIT Roorkee under the Vighyan Jyoti Scheme are to motivate girl students towards career in STEM field; to enhance girls participation in underrepresented areas of STEM and ensure gender parity; to provide enabling environment and add on in STEM education; to give exposure of various scientific careers and to counsel students as well as parents.
Higher Educational and Research Institutions such as IIT Roorkee as Knowledge Partners (KPs) have connected with Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) under this scheme for continuous mentoring. In addition to Vigyan Jyoti initiative, IIT Roorkee had played an important role in developing interestest of school students for higher studies in the field of Science and Technology. Recently, NSS volunteers of IIT Roorkee organised campus tours for around 500 students belonging to 6 different schools from the UP and UK where they were shown the Tinkering lab, library and many other facilities including the historical administrative building of IIT Roorkee, which acted as a reinforcement to their curiosity.