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SWATI Portal Launched at Indian National Science Academy to Empower Women and Girls in STEMM

The launch of the SWATI Portal marks a significant step towards fostering an inclusive environment for women in science and technology in India.

Shivam Dwivedi
Principal Scientific Advisor Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood Launches SWATI Portal to Empower Women in STEMM Fields (Photo Source: @PrinSciAdvGoI)
Principal Scientific Advisor Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood Launches SWATI Portal to Empower Women in STEMM Fields (Photo Source: @PrinSciAdvGoI)

Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, officially launched the 'Science for Women-A Technology & Innovation'- SWATI Portal as part of a ground-breaking initiative to promote gender parity in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM). This online platform, inaugurated on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science at the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) in New Delhi, seeks to represent Indian women and girls in STEMM fields.

Addressing Gender Gap through Policy-Making

Prof. Sood emphasized the significance of the SWATI Portal's comprehensive database in informing policy-making to tackle the challenges of gender disparity. Developed, hosted, and maintained by the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) under the leadership of Dr. Subhra Chakraborty, the portal aims to become the go-to resource for information on women scientists in India.

Dr. Chakraborty highlighted the portal's pioneering nature, claiming it to be the world's first interactive platform of its kind. She underscored the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women, citing statistics from the 2021 UN Report.

Objectives and Structure of SWATI Portal

The SWATI Portal aims to inclusively represent women in science across all career stages and subjects, spanning academia and industry. It seeks to facilitate long-term research on issues of equality, diversity, and inclusivity in India. The portal features sections such as Icons, Faculty, Research Fellows, Students, WiS Entrepreneurs, and STEMM professionals in alternate careers. Currently, the portal boasts 3000 'WiS Data Cards' and aims for further expansion.

The launch event witnessed the presence of distinguished scientists, including Prof. CNR Rao, Prof. P N Tandon, and Presidents of leading science academies. Eminent speakers from various institutions and young women scientists from across the country participated, reflecting a collective commitment to advancing the role of women in science.

Empowering Women in Science & Technology

Recognizing women's pivotal role in societal progress, the initiative seeks to empower women through increased participation in decision-making processes, especially in STEM fields. Science education is highlighted as a means to enhance awareness and promote socio-economic development among women.

The Inter-Academy Panel (IAP) of the three Science Academies, along with distinguished women scientists and representatives from government departments/agencies, is dedicated to promoting gender sensitization, mentorship, and skill development. The goal is to ensure greater inclusion of women in S&T-related issues and leverage science and technology for the welfare of women.

With its comprehensive database and collaborative efforts, it aims to address gender disparity and propel the nation towards a more equitable future.

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