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WOMEN SCIENTISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS: CONTRIBUTING TOWARDS TRANSFORMING INDIA

7th -8th October, 2018: MARS Hall, IGP, Lucknow

Women Scientists & Entrepreneurs Conclave titled “Women Scientists & Entrepreneurs: Contributing towards transforming India” was organized during 4th India International Science Festival 2018 to promote and encourage science education and entrepreneurship among the young women.

The aim of the programme was to showcase the role / contribution of Women Scientists & Entrepreneurs in transforming India; to encourage and motivate the students to take Science as a career and make them WSE Special address by SBTaware of opportunities and encourage the participants towards Entrepreneurship to generate self-employment and job creations.

Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology inaugurated the Women Scientists & Entrepreneurs Conclave at MARS Auditorium, Indira Gandhi Pratisthan, Lucknow on 7th October, 2018. In her inaugural address, Dr Swarup praised the role of women in the field of science & technology and expressed hope that this platform can boost one more step to encourage & motivate women to take science as a career.WSE Inauguration

The inaugural session was also attended by Dr. Veena Tandon, NASI Senior Scientist, Lucknow Biotech Park, Smt Bindu Suraj, National Governing Council, Member, VIBHA, Dr. Chandrima Saha, Former Director, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi Dr. Suraksha S Diwan, Scientist É’, Department of Biotechnology and other dignitaries.

WSE Booklet releaseDr Veena Tandon in her key note address spoke about the contribution of women in science in India and how Women scientists can provide an opportunity to make an important contribution in bridging the gender gap, remove the barrier of negative attitudes; thus, paving the way for fruitful participation of women in science.

A booklet having profiles of all the speakers and abstracts of posters was also released.

Around 625 students, young scientists, scientists, experts from various stakeholders participated in the two day conclave. It was also providing a platform for connecting and networking among young women scientists and entrepreneurs to discuss opportunities in their field of activities.

Session 1: Women Leaders in Science & Technology
The session was chaired by Dr. Swati Basu, Former Scientific Secretary, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India. Presentations by Women Scientists in various fields like
Agriculture-Dr. Shelly Praveen, ICAR-IARI; Medical-Dr. Sujata Mohanty, AIIMS, Delhi;
Physics- Dr. Shobhana Narsimha, JNCASR,Bangalore; Chemistry- Dr.Jyotirmoyee Dash, Associate Prof. Dept of Organic Chemistry, IACS and Computational Biology-Dr. Indira Ghosh, JNU motivated the women scientists, researchers in shaping their scientific careers taking up the challenges.

Session 2: Panel Discussion: Role of Women in Transforming India
The Panelists were Dr. Suchitra Banerjee, CIMAP, Lucknow; Dr. G. Latha, Scientist ‘G’, NIOT, Chennai and Romita Ghosh,MedSamaan and Admirus. The session was moderated by Dr. Sudha Nair, Women Biotechnology Park, Chennai. In this panel, experts discussed opportunities for women in Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship and the challenges associated with these and options for young women to take up science as a career.

Session 3: Presentation by “Young Women Achievers
In this session, young scientists from various renowned Research Institutes, scientific organizations shared their experiences like taking science as a career, shaping and succeeding in their career. Their scientific journey inspired the young audience who were present in the event.

Session 4: Policies for empowering women in science-Initiatives of Govt. of India;
The panel members were Dr. Anita Gupta, Scientist ‘G’, Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology; Dr. Suraksha S. Diwan, Scientist ‘E’, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology; Dr. Vishwajanani Sattigeri, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology; Ms. Ratna Anjan Jena, Statistical Adviser, Ministry of Women and Child Development. The session was moderated by Dr. Purnima Sharma, Managing Director, Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL).

The representatives of various Ministries and Departments like Department of Science & Technology, Department of Biotechnology and CSIR presented various schemes for promoting women scientists and entrepreneurs. Officials from Ministry of Women and Child Development also talked about promoting science for women.

Session 5: Journey of the Women Innovators and communicators
This session of the conclave focused on the talks by the successful Women Entrepreneurs and communicators where they talked about their journeys. The women entrepreneurs discussed about the various opportunities available and encouraged the young minds to take up the emerging uncertain path of innovation & entrepreneurship. The issue of mentoring and handholding which are of utmost importance for sustaining the journey of women scientists and women entrepreneurs emerged in the discussions.

In the panel Women Innovators like Dr. Tripti Bhatnagar, Codon Biotech (Industrial Biotechnology); Dr. Vanita Anand Prasad, Revy Environmental (Environmental Biotechnology); and Dr. Subhashini C R, Aristogene (Aquaculture) and Science Communicators like Ms. Sonia Sharma , Nature; Dr. Kinkini Dasgupta Misra,VP; Dr. Suparna Datta, Professor, Dept of Communication, BITS MESRA; and Dr. Vibha Vershney, Science Editor, Down to Earth.

Poster Exhibition
A poster and exhibition session was also part of the conclave where 40 researchers/scientists and entrepreneurs showcased their work through posters and stalls. The posters presented were judged by a team of Evaluators and adjudged prizes on top six posters.