Vigyan Vidushi 2023
Vigyan-Vidushi – 2023, an initiative aimed at promoting gender balance in the field of Physics at the doctoral level, has officially begun at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) in Mumbai. The program, which started on 12 June, brings together 40 female students from various institutes across India who have recently completed their first year of MSc in Physics.
The main objective of Vigyan-Vidushi – 2023 is to provide these students with an opportunity to engage in advanced physics courses and gain exposure to innovative experiments. By participating in this program, they will be encouraged to pursue their passion for physics and enhance their skills in the field.
About the Program ‘Vigyan-Vidushi’
The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has been organizing the “Vigyan-Vidushi” summer program since 2020 through its Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE). This three-week program is specifically designed for female students who are pursuing their M.Sc. in Physics.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the program was initially launched online. However, this year, for the first time, the program will be conducted in a fully residential mode at HBCSE from 12 June to 1 July, 2023.
Gender Gap in STEM Fields
The gender gap in STEM fields, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is a global concern.
- Across the world, there is a low enrollment of female students in natural science, mathematics, and statistics, with the figure being around 5%.
- In India, the issue of gender imbalance in the field of physics is particularly significant.
- A survey conducted in select Physics departments of prestigious research institutes in India reveals that the representation of women at the doctoral level is approximately 23%. This disparity is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted approach to address.
- To bridge this gap, it is crucial to provide mentoring and networking opportunities for female students in physics and incorporate gender sensitization in science education.
- These recommendations have been emphasized in national and global surveys and have also been endorsed by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.
- The Vigyan-Vidushi program, dedicated exclusively to female students at the postgraduate level, is a small but concrete step towards tackling the under-representation of women in science in India.
- By providing a supportive and inclusive platform for female physics students, the program aims to encourage their participation, provide guidance, and foster a sense of belonging in the field.
Through initiatives like Vigyan-Vidushi and the implementation of comprehensive strategies, it is hoped that the gender gap in physics and other STEM disciplines can be narrowed, allowing for greater diversity and inclusivity in the scientific community in India.
The objective of the Program
The objective of the Vigyan-Vidushi program is to provide a supportive and enriching environment for female physics students.
- During the program, participants will have the opportunity to engage in advanced physics courses, conduct innovative experiments, and interact with experts in the field.
- By creating this platform, TIFR, and HBCSE aim to encourage and empower more women to pursue higher studies and careers in physics.
- The initiative seeks to address the underrepresentation of women in physics and create a more inclusive environment for female physicists.
- Through Vigyan-Vidushi – 2023, the HBCSE aims to empower and support these talented women as they progress in their academic and research journeys in the field of physics.
The shift to a residential format this year will further enhance the learning experience and foster a sense of community among the participants. It is a significant step towards promoting gender equality and inclusivity in the field of physics.
Key Features of the Vigyan-Vidushi – 2023
The Vigyan-Vidushi – 2023 offers several important components to support female students in pursuing physics research careers.
- These include interactive sessions that provide guidance on research pathways, lectures from renowned women scientists, and group discussions on building self-confidence and addressing gender-related challenges.
- Participants will also be introduced to Physics Education research.
- The workshop will include problem-solving sessions and career guidance, allowing participants to explore research opportunities.
- They will have the opportunity to visit research laboratories at TIFR, Colaba, and the Giant Microwave Radio Telescope (GMRT) near Pune.
- Throughout the workshop, successful women scientist role models will teach, inspire, and mentor the participants, providing valuable guidance and inspiration.
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