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4 IIT Roorkee Professors among 50 Inspirational Women in India’s STEM Education

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The premier institution, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, celebrates its women professors, who have contributed phenomenally with their research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Their active participation in the field has proven exemplary in promoting and transforming women’s role in STEM subjects. It is a matter of great pride for the institution that four of its professors have been featured in the compendium by the Confederation of Indian Industry – CII on women achievers from India in STEM.

The CII launched an ebook, “WiSTEM-2021: “Nurture and Celebrate Women in STEM”, on August 7 at 11 AM. CII Tamil Nadu and Technology Development & Promotion Centre released a compendium of 50 women achievers in STEM education. All the women featured in the publication are warriors in their own right, for they have carved a niche career path for themselves, defying all the existing social barriers. The compilation of illustrious women aims to inspire future generations pushing them to follow their hearts and take that leap to explore the unknown aspects of STEM courses.

The IIT Roorkee professors, part of the compendium is Prof Davinder Kaur Walia, senior faculty in the Department of Physics and Centre for Nanotechnology; Prof Debrupa Lahiri, faculty in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and Center for Nanotechnology, Prof Pranita P. Sarangi, faculty at the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering and Prof Kusum Deep, senior faculty in the Department of Mathematics and Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, at IIT Roorkee.

All four faculty members have vastly contributed to scientific research, new product development, patents, and research publications. They have inspired many students to take up STEM courses and engineering as a profession.

Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director IIT Roorkee, said, “It is a proud moment for us as four of our faculty members have been recognized in the e-book on Indian Women Achievers in STEM disciplines. I would like to congratulate CII on this initiative. It will encourage women from all walks of life to believe that their aspirations can be fulfilled if they can persist with their efforts.”

Prof Davinder Kaur Walia said, “I am thankful to CII that they are recognizing and appreciating the presence of women in STEM disciplines. These stories will act as morale boosters for future science and technology courses aspirants. Besides the institute, parents’ encouragement towards their child’s ambitions does wonders, irrespective of the field. I am grateful for all the support and push I received from my parents. For today, they are one of the key contributors to my success. My advice to all the students is to stay positive and enthusiastic about their dreams.”

Commenting on her achievements, Prof Debrupa Lahiri, said, “I believe that a woman shouldn’t let go off her aspirations due to social constructs. They should have faith and confidence in their ability and maintain a balance between family and profession, to let neither pull them away from their dream. Determination is the key to achieving goals. I am glad to be associated with a progressive institute such as IIT Roorkee, which in many ways is a torchbearer, encouraging and uplifting women with their multiple initiatives and programmes.”

Prof Pranita P. Sarangi said, “I am extremely humbled to feature among such glorious women of India. I strongly feel that with the right environment and support women could achieve anything. We just have to believe in ourselves, listen to our hearts, set bigger goals, and rise above our environments to bring all dreams to reality. I am very happy and excited for the opportunity to contribute to initiatives such as DST’s Vigyan Jyoti and Gender Advancement in Transforming Institutions (GATI) programs currently implemented at IIT Roorkee to encourage girls from various schools to take up careers in STEM and provide the proper support to women in STEM to reach leadership positions”.

Sharing her insight over STEM studies and the need for more women to take up research in the field of study, Prof Kusum Deep said, “Out of my personal experience, I can say that girls are generally under-represented in the STEM studies and consequently in STEM careers. As a woman, I have immense gratitude for my family and friends for supporting my career aspiration in this field. But not many are as privileged as me. Hence, I am very thankful to CII for collating such a list, which will act as an encouraging voice nudging more women and girls to enter the field and form a formidable career for themselves.”

These women professors are a guiding light for society, empowering many, especially those striving to reach great heights in the field of STEM disciplines. Through their work, they are creating ripples, both causing advancement in their field and elevating the mindset of society towards ambitious women folks. They are also actively involved in designing various programs specifically engineered to encourage and bring forth women of great calibre and true potential.

IIT Roorkee is an institute of national importance imparting higher education in engineering, sciences, management, architecture and planning, and humanities and social sciences. Since its establishment in 1847, the Institute has played a vital role in providing technical human resources and know-how to the country.

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