Friday, November 07, 2008

Lilavati's Daughters: An update

Via Rahul Basu: Lilavati's Daughters can be bought online from the Scholars Without Borders.

[Edited by Rohini Godbole and Ram Ramaswamy, both members of the WiS Panel of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore] [t]his collection of essays ... was released two days ago at the annual meeting of the Indian Academy. The essays are both biographical and autobiographical, and typically run about three or four pages each... Ideal dipping material that one can read in bits and pieces, and of the hundred or so contributors there is a wide representation... Physicists, biologists, chemists, mathematicians, doctors, geoscientists, computer scientists... and from all parts of India.

As I mentioned earlier, the book release happened during the Annual Meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences, held at IIT-D last week; a part of this meeting was devoted to a Symposium on Women in Science. Over at SciDev.Net, T.V. Padma has a short report on the symposium.

A raft of incentives announced by India's minister of science Kapil Sibal in March to help Indian women scientists pursue research careers after marriage and motherhood are gathering dust, say top women scientists.

These include a key proposal to offer flexible working hours for women with children up to three years of age, which was turned down by the Indian Cabinet, said Vineeta Bal, member of a government task force on women in science, last week ...

Directors of several key scientific institutes have not followed up on any of the other government recommendations such as setting up crèches in institutes or offering feedback on recruitment of women scientists to senior positions. "Apathy is a big problem," Bal noted.

She said that despite some improvements — particularly the Department of Science and Technology's scheme to allow married women scientists to pursue research careers after a break — women scientists still face many unaddressed problems.

India's Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal announced "a raft of incentives" in a meeting last March on the occasion of the International Women's Day. Vineeta Bal and Vinita Sharma have a fairly detailed report on this meeting (pdf) in a recent issue of Current Science:

Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences, took the lead to announce concrete measures – all DST-aided institutions would be provided financial support to establish state-of-the-art crèche facilities. DST’s scientific institutions would start flexible working hours for women scientists with children up to the age of 3 years, with provision to work from home. These flexi-timings will be allowed for a total of 3 years. All women who are young associates of Indian National Science Academy, will be provided a research grant of up to Rs 10 lakhs a year for a period of 5 years, and support will be provided by the Government to build a residential block for women employees in all scientific institutions having more than 20 women scientists. The Minister also stressed that other scientific departments must ensure that these measures are implemented in their departments.


  1. Pipa said...

    Thanks Abi for the update.