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IIT Madras Selected for Dept of Science and Technology Initiative to Advance Women in STEM

IIT Madras Selected for Dept of Science and Technology Initiative to Advance Women in STEM

  • 7th Mar 2022
  • Press Release

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.

Highlighting the commitment of IIT Madras to the cause of Women in STEM, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, "DST's initiatives are very important and aligned with the overarching objectives of IIT Madras. IITM will support the GATI initiative fully."

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, Ms. Richu George Philip and Mr. Vijay Shankar.

Speaking about this initiative, Prof. Ligy Philip, Dean (Planning), IIT Madras, said, "IT Madras has many initiatives like WLI (Women leading IIT Madras) to encourage and empower women employees and students. GATI program by DST is very promising and timely. I am very happy that IIT Madras is one among the pilot institutions selected for this program."

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