Thursday, February 11, 2016

Indian Girls and Women In STEM

11 February is the Day to Celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science. My all time favorite and childhood Heroine is the Marrie Curie, two times Nobel Award winner. Marie was my inspiration and is for many reasons. 1. I like heroic stories, perhaps everyone like. Maria her childhood name was from not so affluent background, but she pursued science despite all hardships. She took tuition to meet her needs while studying. 2. I like taking challenges, often I do not watch cricket matches when everybody sounds like Oh, Yeh, India will win. But I love watching when its like team is struggling. I like earned things and not gotten by chance. Maria was the girl who loved taking challenges. And 3. She was awesome (simple cool girl).

Today world is celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This is not only celebration but a reminder to all of us that girls and women deserve equal opportunity. Given a chance they can prove their worth regardless.

At the time of writing this article Hashtags #WomenInSTEM and #WomenInScienc are trending topics on twitter. I browsed through different databases to gather info about Indian Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. And here is my list


She was the daughte of Bhaskara Achārya. She was a gifted mathematician and astrologer. Leelavati award is given every four during the closing ceremony of International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) for outreach activities in brodest possible sense. The first award was given in 2010.

The Leelavati award winners are

  • Simon Singh 2010
  • Adrián Paenza 2014

Kadambini (Basu) Ganguly: (18 July 1861 – 3 October 1923) 

She is the First Indian Woman and First in South Asia to receive training in western system of medicine. She studied medicine from Bethune College University of Calcutta.

Anandi Gopal Joshi: (March 31, 1865 – February 26, 1887) 

She has the honor of first female of Indian origin to study and graduate with a degree in medicine in the United States. She is proud alimni of Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania. The college has the honor to start first women's medical program in the world. Caroline Wells Healey Dall wrote Anandibai's biography in 1888

Anna Mani: (23 August 1918 – 16 August 2001) 

She was an Indian physicist and meteorologist. In 1939, Anna Mani earned graduate degree from the Presidency College in Madras (B.Sc Honors in physics and chemistry) and then went to Imperial College London. She has the honor of working with Prof. C.V. Raman.

The Anna Mani retired from the post of Deputy Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Rajeswari Chatterjee (24 January 1922-3 September 2010)

Vigyan ki sabse badi khubi hai ki wo vyakti ke naam ko amar bana deti ha. (People who work for sciences remain immortal) used to say one of my chemistry teacher at school.

Well, do you use Microwave? Perhaps every middle class household use one. Did you know the Rajeswari Chatterjee was first woman engineer from Karnataka  to pioneer the Field of Microwave Engineering and Antennae Engineering in India. She was the Mysore University Alumni. The Government of Delhi selected her as Bright Student in 1946 and sent here to the University of Michigan, US where she did her masters from the from the Department of Electrical Engineering. She obtained her Ph.D degree under the guidance of Professor William G. Dow in 1953. She worked at Tata Institute Bangalore first as a professor and later chairperson of the department of Electro-communication Engineering. She is the recipient of 1. Mountbatten prize for the best paper from the Institute of Electrical and Radio Engineering (UK); 2. J.C Bose Memorial prize for the best research paper from the Institution of Engineers and 3. Ramlal Wadhwa Award for the best research and teaching work from the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers.

She is the first Woman Scientist to pioneer the Field of Microwave Engineering and Antennae Engineering in India. She took and MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan University, USA in 1949. Around 60 years ago, she was the only woman on the faculty in the Indian Institute of Science. She retired as Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Electro-Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Banglore.

Dr. Indira Hinduja

Test Tube Baby is a reality now. So who the Dr. Aunt? Yes, you got to it correctly. Dr. Indira Hinduja M.D., Ph.D. is an Indian gynecologist, obstetrician and infertility specialist based in Mumbai. She pioneered the Gamete intrafallopian transfer technique resulting in the birth of India's first GIFT baby on 4 January 1988. She has won Patma Award in 2011.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw: (Born 23 March 1953) 

Educated from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore University, Federation University; receipent of Othmer Gold Medal (2014) for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw is indian entrepreneur and chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited. The Ballarat University awarded Honorary Doctorate on Dr Shaw for her contributions to biotechnology.

Dr. Aditi Pant

Dr. Aditi Pant is University of Pune Alumni. She is the first Indian women to visit Antarcatica in 1983 as part if Indian a part of the Indian expedition to Antarctica. Dr Pant has MS in marine sciences from University of Hawaii and PhD from Westfield college, London University. The Government of India bestowed Antartica Award to Dr. Aditi Pant together with Dr. Jaya Naithani and Dr. Kanwal Vilku.

Sudipta Sengupta

Bahtnagar Award winner and Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy Sudipta Sengupta has B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D from Jadhavpur University Calcutta. Currently she is a professor in structural geology in Jadavpur University, Calcutta. She is a trained mountaineer. So what is special about Dr Sudipta?

Well, She is one of the first Indian women (along with Aditi Pant) to set foot on Antarctica

Madhuri Mathur

Blend, Chop, Mince everyday in your kitchen with the touch of a button only and say thanks to Madhuri Mathur. Summet mixer grinder is a household name. See here the sunday guardian report

Dr. Suman Sahai

The founder of the Gene Campaign and the voice of the millions of farmers all across the country is the brain behind the patent campaign for Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Turmeric (Haldi). She believes that ‘nature’s technology can meet the needs of humanity’. To read more about Dr. Suman Sahai and her campaign go here.

Kalpana Chawla: (March 17, 1962– February 1, 2003) 

The Darling of Space Odyssey; the “Terrific astronaut” and the Lioness of the U.S. space shuttle Columbia left us back to back from space to heaven with a seven-member crew on February 1, 2003. She was an Indian-American astronaut and the first Indian woman in space. She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. The disintegrated in flames over central Texas shortly before it was scheduled to land at Cape Canaveral in Florida. Read her biography on RESPECT!!!

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