Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is one of the institutions nationally selected by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India to advance women in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics). DST’s GATI or ‘Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions Initiative’ aims to develop and implement policies and address issues in a systematic and timely manner.
At IIT Madras, a GATI Self-Assessment Team (GSAT) has been established with different representatives from each stakeholder group at the institute. The Institute’s leadership and governance adhere to the Charter for Gender Equality prepared by the GATI team, and the GSAT is actively working on the framework developed by Dr. jolly.
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Plans for the near future include seminar series on storytelling from women leaders across industries, upskilling activities such as career development and staff networking workshops, to support female research scientists, community activities and female faculty programs for international mobility, the institute says.
Prof. dr. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, emphasized IIT Madras’ commitment to the cause of women in STEM: “DST’s initiatives are very important and in line with the overarching goals of IIT Madras. IITM will fully support the GATI initiative.”
The DST worked with UK educational institutions to develop GATI, which aims to bring about tangible and positive changes in terms of improving gender relations. A gender equality charter has also been developed for a specific India context. dr. Pratibha Jolly, former director, Miranda House, Delhi, and her team have developed a methodology for evaluation and assessment of the institutional gender climate, with a uniquely Indian feel.
Prof. dr. Preeti Aghalayam, Nodal Officer, GATI Self-Assessment Team (GSAT), IIT Madras, emphasized the impact GATI will have in encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM: “DST’s initiative definitely comes at the right time moment for us… I look forward to working with the team to improve the research and gender climate of IIT Madras.”
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“IIT Madras is eager to contribute to DST’s vision to develop the first national assessment and accreditation model for S&T institutions, which is based on gender-sensitive practices. The Institute is proud to have been selected as one of the 30 pilot institutions that will implement this quantitative methodology to uncover the specific gender-related issues,” the Institute said.
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