Government of India has launched various schemes to revolutionize the social thinking, encourage and empower girls and women to participate and pursue their scientific dreams while balancing as well as contributing economically to the family. The schemes help redefining ‘break in career’ as a priority of time and returning back professionally, and addressing several issues that women face in pursuing a career in science like mobility, difficulty in travelling, maintaining balance between profession and home.
Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship
The main purpose of the scheme is to provide financial assistance to meritorious girl students belonging to national minorities, who cannot continue their education due to lack of financial support. Scholarship will be admissible for expenditure on payment of School/College fee, purchase of syllabus books, purchase of stationery/equipments required for the course and payment of Boarding/Lodging charges.
Post-Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Girl Child
In order to achieve and promote girls education, UGC has introduced a Post Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child with an aim to compensate direct costs of girl education to all levels especially for such girls who happen to be the only girl child in their family.
PRAGATI Scholarship for Girl Students for Technical Education
Pragati is a MHRD Scheme being implemented by of AICTE aimed at providing assistance for Advancement of Girls pursuing Technical Education. A total of 4000 scholarships are available per Annum (2000 for Degree and 2000 for Diploma). Two Girls Child per family are eligible, whose family income is not more than 8 lakh per annum during the preceding financial year.
Post Doctoral Fellowship To Women Candidates
Women candidates, holding Ph. D. degree but unemployed in their respective subject areas with an aim to accelerate the talented instincts within them to carry out the advanced studies and research, are eligible to apply under this scheme. The total duration of the fellowship is five years with no provision for further extension. The number of slots available under the scheme is 100 per year.
Women Scientists Scheme
Women, an important taskforce in S&T activities are left out due to various circumstances which are usually typical to the gender. Through its constant efforts, Department of Science and Technology (DST) have launched "Women Scientists Scheme (WOS)" since 2002-03. The primary aim is to provide women scientists and technologists between the age group of 27-57 years who had a break in their career but desired to return to mainstream.
Category of Fellowships:
Under this scheme, women scientists are being encouraged to pursue research in frontier areas of science and engineering, on problems of societal relevance and to take up S&T-based internship followed by self-employment. Following three categories of fellowships, with research grants, are available for Indian citizen:
- Women Scientist Scheme-A (WOS-A): Research in Basic/Applied Science
- Women Scientist Scheme-B (WOS-B): S&T interventions for Societal Benefit
- Women Scientist Scheme-C (WOS-C): Internship in Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for the Self-Employment
DBT Biotechnology Career Advancement and Re-orientation Programme (Bio-CARe) for Women Scientists
This programme funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) is mainly for career development of employed/ unemployed Women Scientists upto 55 years of age for whom it is the first extramural research grant. The scheme is open for all areas of Life Science / biology (including agriculture, veterinary science and medicine). The purpose is to build capacities for women Scientists employed fulltime in Universities and small research laboratories or unemployed women Scientists’ after a career break so as to help them undertake independent R&D projects.
DHR Programme specifically for Women who have had a break in their career
Directorate of Health Research (DHR) sponsored fellowship to women who had a break in their carrier but having proven aptitude towards health research in front line and emerging areas. Only Indian woman citizen and presently unemployed and having qualifications as prescribed for category A or category B are eligible in respective category. Having M.D./M.S./M.D.S. or M.Sc./M. Pharma /M. Tech or equivalent with Ph.D. in topic related to health research for category A. Having MBBS / BDS. or M.Sc. /M. Pharma /M. Tech or equivalent with atleast two years’ experience after the degree for category B.
Such fellowships are likely to boost women’s spirit to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers and help them balance life and career. It can also help us witness an improvement in the UNESCO data (2014 - 2016), which currently shows that only around 30 percent of all female students select STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)-related fields in higher education.