Jammu, To celebrate and showcase women’s outstanding contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the University of Jammu will host the three-day J&K Women Science Congress from Sunday.
The University of Jammu has collaborated with J&K Science Technology and Innovation Council (Department of Science and Technology), Government of Jammu and Kashmir.
University of Jammu Vice Chancellor Prof Umesh Rai, speaking to media in a curtain raiser presser here on Saturday said that aligned with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, recognized by the United Nations General Assembly on February 11, this Science Congress will serve as a pivotal platform to emphasize gender parity in science and inspire the next generation of women in STEM.
Prof Rai was flanked by Prof Anju Bhasin, Dean Academic Affairs and Convener of the event, Prof Jyoti Vakhlu, Co-convener, Prof. Monika Chadha, Convener Press, and Prof. Sarika Manhas.
The Vice Chancellor said that Lieutenant Governor JKUT and Chancellor, University of Jammu Manoj Sinha will inaugurate the JK Women Science Congress while Prof. Vibha Tandon, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata, will be the guest of honor.
Prof. Rai lauded the organizers for aligning the congress with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and highlighted the efforts of the Indian Science Congress and the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, in promoting fellowships for women scientists.
Emphasizing the goal of dissolving boundaries, he expressed the congress’s objective to encourage collaboration among young researchers across subjects and institutions for idea-sharing and interdisciplinary exploration.
The VC envisions the participants to achieve great heights in STEM and hoped they would be role models for young girls pursuing the study of science.
“The JK Women Science Congress-2024 aims to facilitate meaningful interactions between young researchers and role models, with a particular emphasis on promoting girls in the scientific community,” he said and acknowledged the active support and contribution of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of J&K in organizing this event .
Providing insights into the holding of the Science Congress, Prof. Anju Bhasin highlighted the initiative to provide women a platform to reach top levels, fostering interaction and idea-sharing.
Prof. Bhasin said that approximately 200 participants have already registered for the event.
There will be 13 sessions, 15 plenary talks, 21 oral talks, 10 flash talks, 124 poster presentations, and a panel discussion on gender inequality.
Prof. Jyoti Vakhlu, Co-convener, JK Women Science Congress 2024, said that the University of Jammu sees this initiative as an extension of its societal duties.
Addressing the gender gap in STEM fields worldwide, she emphasized the importance of equal representation for women, stating that society will suffer without it.
Notably, this Congress will be conducted in a trans-disciplinary mode, fostering collaboration between students, scholars, young faculty, and eminent scientists, she added.
Acknowledging women as integral pillars of home and society, the Congress will address existing disparities in STEM fields, attributing them to factors such as lack of awareness and role models.
The event will strive to boost confidence and awareness among women citizens by introducing them to accomplished women scientists.
The Congress will feature a series of lectures by internationally and nationally renowned women scientists, who will share their experiences in STEM.
Moreover, the achievements of selected young women scientists will be discussed, accompanied by poster presentations from mentored girl scientists. The initiative aims to explore scientific adoption of girl scientists by renowned mentors, addressing challenges faced by girls pursuing science.
Highlighting the government and private initiatives, the Congress aims to ensure that girls are well-informed about the available opportunities in STEM. The event promises to be a significant milestone in promoting diversity and excellence in the field of science.