Hyderabad, March 09: The Union Minister of State for Defence Subash Bhamre has lauded the all women including women scientists and staff of the Defence Research and Development Organisations (DRDO) at National workshop on Wednesday.
The Workshop termed as 'Mahila Unleashing Dynamism in Research Areas (MUDRA)', which was arranged on the occasion of International Women's day at Research Centre Imarat (RCI) auditorium.
Mr. Bhamre was addressed that,"The nation has come a long way from being buyers of technology to having made science and technology an important contributor to its development. In this endeavor, women scientists have played a key role, especially in the areas of space research, defense, and nuclear science.
The Minister pointed out that women defense scientists have put their best foot forward or have been projecting leaders in recent advancements in cryogenic engines, missiles, AWACS also known as airborne early warning systems, Chandrayan, and Mangalyaan, among others.
While the Central government has taken many initiatives to promote female child development and women empowerment with schemes like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao', 'Mahila e-Haat', and 'Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, there was still a strong need to orient more women towards science and technology. Women scientists should take the lead to promote the same among female students in academic institutes.
Minister for IT K.T. Rama Rao called for a level playing field for women. He said rather than nurturing or celebrating gender stereotypical images, it was better to hail the individual’s contribution and success. "Let us try to reduce their sacrifices," Mr. Rao said.
DRDO chairman S. Christopher said, "Dynamic contribution of women scientists has enabled our organization to scale greater heights."
Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister G. Satheesh Reddy hoped to see more women scientists in leadership roles.
Chief Minister's secretary Smita Sabharwal said, "Leadership and competence have no gender." Chief of Integrated Staff Lieutenant General Satish Dua also spoke.
"When I joined the DRDO, women scientists constitutes just 3% of the staff strength. Over the years, it has grown to 15%. Among them, quite a few — 25% — have leadership roles. We would like to see it grow to 50%," said project director of Advanced Systems Laboratory and MUDRA chairperson Tessy Thomas.
While there has been no recruitment in the last four years, Ms. Thomas is sure of more women joining the defense labs as soon as the government clears funds and sanctions more posts in the coming days.