'Girls should be motivated to take up science'

 The theme of this year’s day long event was “Gender equality: Peace and prosperity through science and technology.”

Prof Indumati Rau, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research said it was essential that girls in rural areas are motivated to pursue their interests in science and their self esteem is given a boost.

Agent of social change
"It is necessary to recognise that girl child has the ability to bring about social change with the help of science and technology. There is also lot of social pressure on a girl, which dissuades her from taking up science as a career option. So a girl can only resist all this through education, self-confidence and motivation," Rau said.

She also revealed that there was a paucity of women scientists in the country.
“The Prime Minister's scientific council is seriously considering providing staggered or flexible working hours for women in the field. However, it has not been implemented yet,” she said.

Native intelligence
Rau also pointed out that innovation can happen anywhere. "There are several farmers, who through native wisdom create different equipment that could be used in the fields or at home. So we should recognise their efforts and not just the innovations that happen in big, well-known institutes," she added.
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